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PIRKE DE RABBI ELIEZER 



pirk£ de 
rabbi eliezer 

(THE CHAPTERS OF RABBI ELIEZER THE GREAT) 
ACCORDING TO THE TEXT OF THE MANUSCRIPT 
BELONGING TO ABRAHAM EPSTEIN OF VIENNA 



TRANSLATED AND ANNOTATED 

WITH INTRODUCTION AND INDICES 

BY 

GERALD FRIEDLANDER 



LONDON 

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO. LTD. 

New York: THE BLOCH PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1916 



Printed in Scotland 
By Morrison & Gibb Limitsd 

Edinburgh 



TO 



ADOLPH BUCKLER, Ph.D. 

PRINCIPAL OF THE JEWS* COLLEGE, LONDON 



PREFACE 

My thanks are due to Dr. A. Marmorstein for much general 
help in the course of my work. He has verified all the 
Rabbinic quotations in the notes and has added many addi- 
tional references. I have further to express my gratitude 
to Dr. Biichler for valuable counsel in the preparation of the 
translation and also for reading and correcting the proof- 
sheets. I dedicate this book to him as a mark of gratitude 
for a series of kindnesses shown to me during many years. 
It is mainly owing to his inspiration and encouragement 
that I have ventured to offer this effort as a contribution to 
Jewish literature. 

G. F. 



GENERAL CONTENTS 



Introduction 

Abbreviations employed in Notes 

CHAPTER 

I. Rabbi Eliezer and the Torah . 
II. Rabbi Eliezer and his Brethren 

III. Premundane Creation, and the Work of 

the First Day . 

IV. The Creation on the Second Day 
V. The Creation on the Third Day — The 

Gathering of the Waters 
VI. The Creation on the Fourth Day — The 

Planets ; the Course of the Sun 
VII. The Course of the Moon 
VIII. The Principle of Intercalation 
IX. The Creation on the Fifth Day 
X. The History of Jonah 

XI. The Work of Creation on the Sixth Day 
XII. Adam in Paradise . 

XIII. The Serpent in Paradise 

XIV. The Sin of Adam and Eve 
XV. The Two Ways 

XVI. The Service of Loving-Kindness 
XVII. Loving Service to Mourners . 
XVIII. The Creation on the Eve of the First 
Sabbath . 
XIX. The Sabbath. 
XX. Adam's Penitence . 
XXI. Cain and Abel 
XXII. The Fall of the Angels 

XXIII. The Ark and the Flood 

XXIV. NiMROD AND THE TOVVER OF BaBEL 

XXV. The Sin of Sodom . 
XXVI. The Ten Trials of Abraham (First Five) 



XIU 

lix 
I 
5 

9 
20 

27 

31 
41 
52 
60 

65 

74 

84 

91 

97 

102 

106 

114 

124 
134 
143 
150 
158 
164 

174 
179 

187 



GENERAL CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

XXVII. 



XXVIII. 

XXIX. 

XXX. 

XXXI. 

XXXII. 

XXXIII. 

XXXIV. 

XXXV. 

XXXVI. 

XXXVII. 

XXXVIII. 

XXXIX. 

XL. 

XLI. 

XLII, 

XLIII. 

XLIV. 

XLV. 

XLVI. 

XLVII. 

XLVIII. 

XLIX. 

L. 

LI. 

LII. 

LIII, 



PAGE 

The Ten Trials of Abraham — continued 

(Battle of the Kings) . . -193 

The Ten Trials ok Abraham — continued 

(The Vision between the Pieces) . . i97 

The Ten Trials of Abraham — continued 

(The Covenant of Circumcision) , . 203 

The Ten Trials of Abraham — continued 

(Abraham and Ishmael) . . .215 

The Ten Trials of Abraham — continued (The 

Binding of Isaac on the Altar) . . 223 

The Death of Sarah and the Story of Isaac 

and Rebecca . . . . -231 

Elisha and the Shunammite Woman . . 239 

The Resurrection of the Dead . . 252 

The Vision of Jacob at Bethel . 261 

Jacob and Laban ..... 268 

Jacob and the Angel . . . .281 

Joseph and his Brethren . . . 287 

Joseph in Egypt ..... 303 

Moses at the Burning Bush . . . 312 

The Revelation on Sinai . . . 318 

The Exodus ...... 328 

The Power of Repentance . . . 337 

Amalek and Israel . . . -345 

The Golden Calf . . . . -352 

Moses on the Mount .... 359 

The Zeal of Phineas . . . .367 

The Egyptian Bondage .... 374 

The Seed of Amalek .... 388 

Haman ...... 396 

The New Heavens and Earth . . . ^lo 

The Seven Wonders of Old . . . 420 

The Sin of Slander .... 428 

Note ....... 439 

Index of Subjects and Names . . -441 

Index of Old Testament Passages . 480 



CONTENTS OF INTRODUCTION 

PAGE 

§ I. Short Account of the Book and its History . . xiii 

§ 2. Plan and Contents of the Book . . . . xv 

§ 3. P.R.E. IN Jewish and Christian Literature . . xviii 

§4. P.R.E. AND Talmud, Targum, Midrash, Zohar, and 

Liturgy ,..,... xix 

§ 5. P.R.E. AND the Pseudepigraphic and Apocryphal 

Literature ....... xxi 

§ 6. P.R.E. and Patristic Literature .... liii 

§ 7. Date and Origin of P.R.E. ..... liii 

§ 8. Polemical Tendency in P.R.E. . . . . Iv 

§ 9. Theology of P.R.E. . . . . . . Ivi 



XI 



INTRODUCTION 

§ 1. Short Account of the Book and its History 

The book usually designated iry^K 'm ""piD, PirM de 
Rabbi Eliezer {Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer), is not the least 
important of the Rabbinic Pseudepigrapha. The attention 
recently given to the study of the Apocrypha and Pseud- 
epigrapha has, to a certain extent, been limited by the neglect 
of the Rabbinic side of the subject. The only Hebrew works 
translated in the magnificent Oxford edition of the Apoc- 
rypha and Pseudepigrapha are the PirM Aboth and the 
Fragments of a Zadokite Work. The selection of these two 
books is singularly unfortunate, since neither belongs to 
the Pseudepigrapha proper. More appropriate would have 
been the inclusion in the afore-mentioned corpus of such 
works as the Othijoth de Rabbi 'Akiba or the PirM de 
Rabbi Eliezer, now presented, for the first time, in an English 
translation. 

The name of the writer of the book is unknown. The 
putative author is Rabbi Eliezer, son of Hyrkanos, who 
lived in the latter half of the first century c.e. and in the 
first decades of the second century. He was famous on 
account of his great erudition, but in spite of his reputation 
as a scholar he was ultimately excommunicated. Was it 
on account of this very fact that the actual writer of our 
book deliberately selected the name of this famous master 
in Israel as its supposed author ? In many respects the 
book is polemical and unorthodox — polemical in opposing 
doctrines and traditions current in certain circles in former 
times, unorthodox in revealing certain mysteries which were 
reputed to have been taught in the school of Rabban 
Jochanan ben Zakkai, the teacher of our Rabbi Eliezer. 
Did our author deem it dangerous to expose his own identity ? 
Did he not run the risk of being placed under the ban for the 



XIU 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

daring displayed in writing his book ? What name was 
more honoured, in spite of the excommunication which had 
made it so prominent, than Rabbi EUezer the Great, who is 
quoted in Mishnah and Talmud more frequently than any 
one of his contemporaries ? 

The book enjoyed considerable popularity in Jewish 
circles in former days, for there are more than two dozen 
editions. There is also a Latin version with an elaborate 
commentary by Vorstius (1644), indicating a certain interest 
in the book even in non- Jewish circles. The first edition 
was printed in Constantinople in 1514, the second edition 
appeared in Venice, 1544, the third edition was published in 
Sabbioneta in 1567. Later editions of value are those of 
Amsterdam and Prague. The folio edition of Rabbi 
David Luria (Vilna, 1837) is the best extant. His critical 
commentary is a mine of valuable information which has 
been constantly laid under contribution in the preparation 
of the notes in the present volume. The editions of Erode 
and Einhorn have also been consulted. 

The text adopted for translation is a valuable unedited 
MS. belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna. This treasure 
contains not only the entire work as printed in the various 
editions, but a small section of the last chapter which has 
never been printed. Wertheimer's Botte Midrashoth, iii. pp. 
29-34, contains a parallel text to the last chapter, but not as 
complete as our MS. text. The MS. is probably the work of 
a Spanish scribe of the twelfth or thirteenth century. It was 
formerly the property of N. Coronel. In very many instances 
the text preserved in the MS. is superior to that contained in 
the printed editions. The MS. used by the editor of the editio 
princeps was fairly accurate, as this text is on the whole 
correct and consecutive. This edition was used by the 
editor of the beautiful second edition, in which some of the 
errors incidental to a first edition have been rectified. This 
text has been used by all subsequent editors and was adopted 
by Vorstius for his Latin version. 

In addition to Epstein's MS., the present writer has used 
an old MS. fragment of the astronomical chapters (VI. -VIII.) 
belonging to the Rev. Dr. M. Gaster, and also his MS. (9), 
which, however, is incomplete. Several fragments from 
the Cairo Geni?ah belonging to Mr. Elkan N. Adler, M.A., 



INTRODUCTION xv 

have been collated. The Geni?ah fragments belonging to the 
Cambridge University have been copied by Dr. A. Mar- 
morstein and his transcript has been used. The MSS. of the 
Bodleian Library, Oxford, have also been collated. The 
fragment MS. in the British Museum, edited by Horowitz, 
has likewise been consulted. 

In the printed texts there are fifty-four chapters, where- 
as in our MS. there are only fifty-three chapters, due to the 
fact that the last two are combined into one. In its present 
form the book is undoubtedly incomplete. In all the editions 
the last chapter breaks off in the middle of a sentence. The 
MSS. referred to in the Jewish Encyclopedia (x. p. 59b) have 
not been available. 

§ 2. Plan and Contents of the Book 

The book, as we now know it, is, in all probability, a 
composite work, consisting of three originally distinct 
sections. The object of one of these parts was to describe 
in detail the " ten descents " from heaven to earth, which 
God is said in Holy Scripture to have made in the past. 
The books of old told of the Ascension of Isaiah, as well as 
of the Assumption of Moses and other worthies ; our book 
essayed the more sacred task of revealing the ten Divine 
descents on earth. The purpose of the Pistis Sophia is 
somewhat similar, of course from the standpoint of the 
Christian gnostic. The last chapter in our book deals with 
the eighth descent. The missing part of the work is claimed 
to be preserved in the text published by M. Friedmann in 
the Pseudo-Tanna de hi Elijahu. The authenticity of this 
material has, however, not been established thus far. 

Another section incorporated in our present work pro- 
fessed to give a detailed account of Rabbinic mysticism, 
more particularly the ancient mysteries of the Creation 
(Ma'aseh Bereshith), the Divine Chariot (Ma'aseh Merkabah), 
as well as the secret of the Calendar (Sod Ha-'Ibbur) and 
the secret of the Redemption (Sod Ge'ullah). The mys- 
teries of the heaven above, the earth beneath, and the 
waters under the earth are all revealed. Paradise and 
Gehenna, this world and the new world, are all explored. 
We hear of the Ministering Angels, Sammael and the angels 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

" who fell from their holy place in heaven," and also con- 
cerning Leviathan and Behemoth. The life hereafter, the 
resurrection of the dead, and the Messianic Age are dis- 
cussed. The doctrine of the " Last Things," usually known 
as Eschatology, is not entirely forgotten. 

The possibility of a third book in our work is to be 
detected in the fragment of a Midrash on the Shemoneh 'Esreh 
(the Jewish prayer par excellence), which is contained in 
the latter part of the " Chapters." AVhcther the three 
chapters (VI.-VIII.) dealing with the Calendar are an 
integral part of the section previously discussed or whether 
they belong to the actual Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer is a moot 
point, which cannot be decided off-hand. The result of the 
combination of the different sections may be seen in the 
repetition of several narratives {e.g. the creation of Adam), 
in obvious contradictions {e.g. Chapter III. and Chapter 
XVIII. ; Chapter XXX. and Chapter XXXI., on the 
question of the difference between the ages of Isaac and 
Ishmael), and finally in the absence of consecutive order 
in the arrangement of the material. Likewise the order 
in which the different chapters are arranged is a further 
proof of the composite nature of the entire book. More- 
over, the first two chapters form an independent section 
which has been prefixed for the purpose of providing a 
preface in order to justify the authorship attributed to 
Rabbi Eliezer. The two chapters are entirely biographical, 
setting forth the call of Rabbi Eliezer. Our contention 
as to the relation of these two chapters towards the rest of 
the book, as we now know it, seems to be supported by the 
fact that the MS. of the first part of our book in the British 
Museum begins at Chapter III. of the printed text. The 
same fact applies to the portion of our book which has 
been incorporated by R. Asher JIa-Levi in his Sepher Ua- 
Zikhronoth (Bodleian MS. Heb. d. 11, No. 2797). Dr. 
Marmorstcin finds in MS. Adler (522, p. 143b), Chajiter XLIV. 
quoted. This corresponds to Chapter XLII. in the printed 
texts. Again, on p. 79a, Chapter XLI. is mentioned, corre- 
sponding to Chapter XXXIX. in our text. In Gaster MS. 
(9) ten anciently written chapters have been inserted which 
are all enumerated as though the book began with Chapter 
III. This clearly shows that in some MSS. the first two 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

chapters were missing, and, as we have suggested, did not 
form part of the original work. 

Chapters III.-XI. deal with the work of the Creation. 

Chapters XII.-XX. refer to Adam and Eve. 

Chapters XXI. and XXII. give the story of Cain, Abel, 

and the other descendants of Adam and Eve. 
Chapters XXIII. and XXIV. contain the history of Noah 

and his sons and the narrative of the Flood. 
Chapter XXV. sets forth the sin and doom of Sodom. 
Chapters XXVI.-XXXI. cover the life story of Abraham, 
including the story of the 'Ak:edah (or the binding 
of Isaac). 
Chapters XXXII. and XXXIII. deal with the life of 

Isaac. 
Chapter XXXIV. is devoted to an account of the resur- 
rection of the dead. 
Chapters XXXV.-XXXVII. present the story of Jacob's 

life. 
Chapters XXXVIII. and XXXIX. refer to Joseph. 
Chapter XL. discusses the signs given by God to Moses. 
Chapter XLI. is concerned with the revelation on Sinai. 
Chapters XLII. and XLIII. (which are evidently out of 
place) contain the narrative of the Exodus (which 
should precede the story of the revelation on Sinai). 
Chapter XLIV. unfolds the history of Amalek. 
Chapters XLV.-XLVII. set forth the story of the 

Golden Calf. 
Chapter XLVIII. resumes the subject of the Exodus. 
Chapters XLIX. and L. give the story of Haman and 

Mordecai. 
Chapter LI. is eschatological. 
Chapter LII. describes the wonders of old. 
Chapter LIII. reverts to the history of Israel in the 
wilderness, e.g. the " Brazen " Serpent and 
Miriam. 
In the second half of the book we see the fragment of 
the Midrash on the Shemoneh 'Esreh, furnishing a series 
of links connecting the various sections of this part 
of the book. Thus the first benediction is referred to 
in Chapter XXVII. in connection with Abraham. The 
second benediction occurs in Chapters XXXI. and XXXIV., 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

in connection with Isaac. The third in Chapter XXXV, 
(Jacob), the fourth in Chapter XL. (Moses), the fifth in 
Chapter XLIII. in connection with Manasseh and Nineveh, 
the sixth in Chapter XLVI. in connection with Israel in 
the wilderness, the seventh in Chapter LI. (Messianic), and 
the eighth in Chapters LII. and LIII. (Miriam). The fact 
that only eight descents and only eight benedictions are 
dealt with in the book is noteworthy, and points to the 
present incomplete condition of the work. 

§ 3. Our Book in Jewish and Christian Literature 

The book is usually known by the title Pirke de Rabbi 
Eliezer. Our MS. uses this designation, adding " Ha-Gadol " 
(" the Great "). The first to quote our book are the Geonim 
or Rabbis of Babylon, see Siddur of Rab 'Amram (c. 850 c.e.), 
p. 32a. Mach?;or Vitry (ed. S. Hurwitz), p. 117, quotes our 
book by the title " Perakim " ("The Chapters "). In the 
Tosaphoth to Kethuboth, 99a, R. Tarn calls it " Haggadath 
de Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanos." The 'Arukh terms it 
" Baraitha de Rabbi Eliezer." Dr. Marmorstein finds our 
book mentioned in Midrash Ha-Chefez (B.M. 2351, p. 89b) 
under the title of " Mishnah de R. Eliezer"; the same 
designation occurs in a bookseller's catalogue of the twelfth 
to thirteenth century, see J.Q.R. xiii. p. 53. 

The usual title PirkS de Rabbi Eliezer is employed by 
Rashi {e.g. on Gen. xxvii. 9 ; Deut. xii. 17 ; Jonah i. 7), 
Jehudah Ha-Levi (Khazari iii. 65 and iv. 29), and Mai- 
monides (Moreh Nebukhim i. 70 and ii. 26). For further 
references see the excellent chapter on our book in Zunz, 
Gottesdienstliche Vortrdge der Juden (2nd ed.), p. 283, note/. 

In addition to the writers and books mentioned in 
the previous paragraphs, quotations from our book are to 
be found in R. Achai Gaon in She'eltoth, in Natronai Gaon in 
Chcmdah Genu?ah No. 93, in R. Moses of Coucy's S.M.G., in 
Halakhoth Gedoloth (ed. Hildcshcimcr, p. 5), in Midrash 
Haggadol (ed. Schechter), Midrash Agadah (ed. Buber), 
Jalkut Shim'oni, Jalkut Makhiri, Midrash Sekhel Tob (ed. 
Buber), also in the commentaries on the Pentateuch by 
R. Bcchai and Nachmanides, as well as in the latter's Torath 
Ha-x\dam, and many other books too numerous to mention. 



INTRODUCTION xix 

In addition to the bibliography to be found in the Jewish 
Encyclopedia (x. p. 60a) and in Wolff, Bibl. Hebr. i. p. 173, 
iii. p. 110, and iv. p. 1032, the follo^ving references have been 
furnished by Dr. Marmorstein : 

Zakuto, Juchasin, p. 52b (the first to cast a doubt on 

the authorship of R. Eliezer). 
'Azariah de Rossi, Meor 'Enayim, ch. xliii. 
Rapoport, in Kerem Chemed, vii. p. 41. 
Steinschneider, Polemische und Apologetische Literatur, 

p. 339 ; Z.D.M.G. xxviii. 640 ; H.B. v. 15 and 

120, viii. 7, and ix. 3. 
The periodicals Keneseth Ha-Gedolah, i. 165 ; Ha-Maggid, 

xii. nos. 26 ff.; R.E.J, iiv. 66; M.G.W.J., 1893, 

p. 253 ; J.Q.R. iv. 622, and J.Q.R. (new series) 

i. pp. 64 f. 
Graetz, M.G.W.J., 1859, p. 207 ; H.B. xiv. 7 ; Geschichte, 

iv. p. 223 ; and Z.D.M.G. xxviii. 645. 
Epstein, Eldad, p. 76; and 
Chwolson, Ssabier, i. p. 98. 

§ 4. P.R.E. AND Talmud, Targum, Midrash, Zohar, 

AND Liturgy 

The fact that with two exceptions all the names of the 
Rabbis quoted in our book are Palestinian teachers has been 
duly noted by scholars, see J.E. x. p. 59a. Equally remark- 
able is the fact that the direct quotations from the Talmud 
are to be found in the Palestinian Talmud only. The 
inference to be drawn from this circumstance is that the 
author was probably a Palestinian. Again, there is a very 
close connection between the Palestinian Targum to the 
Pentateuch, usually known as the Pseudo-Jonathan ben 
U^jiel, and our author. 

The present writer inclines to the view that our book 
was one of the sources used by this Targumist. There is also 
evidence which goes to show that the author of the Second 
Targum to Esther used our book. Likewise there is reason 
to believe that the Zohar has used many of the interpreta- 
tions and doctrines which are to be found in our work. 
In all probability a similar statement applies to the Book 
of Jashar. 



XX INTRODUCTION 

On the other hand, our author has laid Genesis Rabbah 
under contribution. In the notes attention will be drawn 
to some of the parallels to be found in Talmudic and 
Midrashic literature. 

The question of interdependence arises in connection 
with the Baraitha de Sh'muel. The date 776 c.e. is mentioned 
in this work, and shortly after this date the work was 
most probably written. Have we, however, the original 
Baraitha ? Was our book used by the writer of this 
Baraitha ? Were the two works originally united in one 
book ? Are we to believe, as Dr. Gaster seems to urge in 
his valuable Introduction to Jerahmeel, that the three astro- 
nomical chapters (VI.-VIIL)are part of the original Baraitha'i 
These problems must remain for the present unsolved. The 
views of Zunz on this question will be referred to in the notes. 
On the entire problem Bornstein's note on pp. 177 f. in 
Sokolow's Jubilee Volume (1904) should be consulted. A 
similar unsolved problem arises in connection with the 
Sepher Jezirah ; some of the points of contact between this 
book and P.R.E. will be mentioned in the notes. 

Many of the Midrashic explanations and legends con- 
tained in our book have been utilized by the Payetanim 
(liturgical poets) whose poems have enriched the liturgy 
of the Synagogue. The commentary to the Machzor by 
Heidenheim draws attention to many parallels in our book. 

Recent investigation has proved that the date hitherto 
assigned to Kalir must be altered to an earlier period (c. 
seventh century). According to Zunz, G.V. (p. 290) Kalir 
used P.R.E. in his liturgical compositions, and if this be so, 
he must have had an earlier form of our book than has come 
down to us. 

The Jozeroth as well as the daily and Sabbath liturgy 
of the Synagogue point to the direct influence exerted by 
our book. One instance will illustrate this point. The 
Kedushah of the Mussaph for Sabbath and Holyday is to 
be found in its earliest form in our book (see p. 26 and 
cf. M.G.IV.J., 1887, pp. 550 If.). Does this fact enable us 
to determine the provenance of our " Chapters " ? Dr. 
Biichler has pointed out to the present writer that the 
phrase on p. 169, " Through me will all the righteous crown 
Thee with a crown of sovereignty," shows that the author 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

knew the special form of the Kediishah of the mystics 
known as the " Jorede Merkabah," discussed by P. Bloch 
in M.G.W.J., 1893 (37), p. 310, and by Dr. Biichler in R.^.J. 
liii. p. 220. 

In connection with this subject, it is interesting to note 
that the tenth chapter seems to be a homily for the Day 
of Atonement. According to Horowitz, Beth 'Eked Ha- 
Hagadoth, p. 21, Chapter XXX., which has been incorporated 
in the Midrash of the Ten Kings, was also written for litur- 
gical purposes, probably as a Midrash for the Sabbath pre- 
ceding the 9th of Ab. Possibly Chapters XXV. and XXVI. 
were homilies for the New Year. The sections from Chapters 
III., IV., v., VI., IX., and XI. dealing with the Creation and 
Adam, which are preserved in the B.M. MS. 27089 and 
printed by Horowitz, Sammlung kleiner Midraschim, i. pp. 
4 ff., may have served a liturgical purpose in connection 
with the New Year, because according to our author Adam 
was created on the New Year. Similar Midrashic sections 
are — (1) Chapter XLII., for Sabbath Shirah or for the seventh 
Day of Passover ; (2) Chapter XLI., for Pentecost ; (3) 
Chapter IV., dealing with the Cherubim and the Divine 
Throne for Pentecost (the Haphtarah being Ezek. i.) ; and 
(4) Chapter XXXIII., for the Intermediate Sabbath in 
Passover (the Haphtarah being Ezek. xxxvii.). Several 
chapters are also to be regarded as Midrashim to the weekly 
Portion (Sedra). Finally, Chapter XLIV. and Chapter 
XLIX. are probably Midrashim for Sabbath Zakhor, whilst 
Chapter L. is a Midrashic reading for Purim. Chapter 
XXXI., which deals with the 'Akedah, may have been a 
homily for the New Year or for Sabbath Vayera. Chapter 
XXXIII. was most likely the Midrash to the Haphtarah 
for Sabbath Vayera. 

§ 5. P.R.E. AND THE PSEUDEPIGRAPHA AND APOCRYPHA 

Among the most valuable writings in the second volume 
of the Oxford edition of the Apocrypha and Pseudepi- 
grapha are Jubilees, the two Books of Enoch, the Testa- 
ments of the XII Patriarchs, 4 Ezra, and the Books of 
Adam and Eve. With all these books there are points of 
contact in the Pirki de R. Eliezer. For instance, the 



xxii INTRODUCTION 

Biblical narrative covered by our book agrees to a consider- 
able extent with the material dealt with by the Book of 
Jubilees. We shall find frequent occasion in the notes to 
refer not only to the points of similarity between the two 
works, but also to several points of dissimilarity. There 
seems to be reasonable ground for assuming that the author 
of our book was acquainted not only with Jubilees, but also 
with the pseudepigraphic Books of Enoch (Ethiopic and 
Slavonic), and very probably with the Testaments of the 
XII Patriarchs, or with the sources of these books. 

Jubilees and our book are alike in being practically 
Midrashic paraphrases and expansions of the narratives 
contained in the Book of Genesis and part of the Book 
of Exodus. Our book contains more than this, but it is 
a later compilation. Both books deal with the Calendar 
(see Jubilees vi. 28-33), and in this respect they recall the 
Books of Enoch (Eth. Enoch Ixxii.-lxxxii.). In all these 
books we have chapters setting forth the story of the Creation 
(Ma'aseh Bereshith). The mysteries and secrets con- 
tained in some of the above-mentioned books of the Pseud- 
epigrapha reappear in our book. The past is recalled and 
the future revealed. The nature of God, angels, and man is 
unfolded. We read of sin and grace, repentance and atone- 
ment, good and evil, life and death. Paradise and Gehenna, 
Satan and Messiah. The same anthropomorphic expres- 
sions occur in all this literature and reappear in our book. 
The Index will enable the reader to find easily in our book 
its teaching on all these points. 

Our book does not merely re-echo the esoteric doctrines 
of Apocalypse, it occasionally dares to speak with its own 
voice and at times deliberately modifies the teaching of the 
old Pseudepigrapha. For instance, the Calendar doctrines 
set forth in Jubilees and part of the Enoch literature are 
rejected and opposed. The Calendar section in our book 
is of more than passing interest, because it may indicate — 
(1) The probable date when our book was written, (2) its 
provenance, and (3) the motive for its composition. Accord- 
ing to S. Poznanski (Hastings' Ency. of Religion and Ethics, 
iii. 117) the probable date is in the period of the Geonim 
(c. 800), its origin was in Babylon, and the i)urposc of the 
book was to oppose factions or sects who at this period had 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

their individual calendars. Reference should be made to 
the J.Q.R. X. 152-161 for the discussion on the Calendar 
disputes in the days of Sa'adiah (892-942), see also J.Q.R. 
xiv. pp. 37 ff. and (new series) v. 4, pp. 543 ff. 

The various forms of the Calendar, which were probably 
the occasion of attack or defence, e.g. the systems set forth 
in Jubilees and the Books of Enoch, as well as the calendars 
of the Samaritans and Karaites, and the systems elaborated 
in the Rabbinic and Patristic literature and also in the 
Hellenistic Jewish writings, would have to be carefully 
considered before we can be in a position to formulate the 
purpose of the Calendar in our book. 

To revert to the Book of Jubilees in relation to our book, 
the following passages in the former seem to have some 
connection with our text. 

Jub. i. 29 refers to the renewal of the heavens and the 
earth (cf. ibid. iv. 26 and xxiii. 26-28, and Charles' note on 
p. 10 of his edition of Jubilees) ; Chapter LI. (pp. 410 ff.) 
in our book is devoted to this theme. 

In Jub. i. and ii. reference is made to the intercourse 
between Moses and the angels ; the same subject reappears 
in our book (Chapter XLVI. pp. 361 f.), where we also read 
of " letters and tablets for heahng " (p. 362) given to Moses 
by the angels, this is similar to Jub. x. 12, 13. 

According to Jub. ii. 17-21, when the Israehtes observe 
the Sabbath, they resemble the angels ; this belief reappears 
in our book (Chapter XLVI. p. 364), except for the fact that 
Sabbath is replaced by the Day of Atonement {i.e. the 
Sabbath of Sabbaths). 

Very striking is the passage in Jub. ii. dealing with 
the selection of Israel to keep the Sabbath and the nature 
of the Sabbath observance, " eating, drinking, and blessing 
God " (ii. 21). This must be compared with P.R.E. xix. 
p. 138 : " The Holy One, blessed be He, blessed and hallowed 
the Sabbath day, and Israel is bound only to keep and to 
hallow the Sabbath day. . . . Whosoever says the bene- 
diction and sanctification over the wine on the eves of 
Sabbaths." Jub. ii. 29, 30, should also be compared with 
P.R.E. , loc. cit. 

Both books protest against the exposure of the person ; 
thus in Jub. iii. 31 and vii. 20 this ordinance is laid down in 



xxiv INTRODUCTION 

connection with Noah, whilst in our book, xxii. p. IGO, this 
sin is one of the causes of the Hood. 

The offering brought by Noah, according to Jub. vi. 3, 
consisted of an ox, a goat, a sheep, kids, salt, a turtle-dove, 
and the young of a dove ; in our book, xxiii. p. 171, this 
reappears as " ox, a sheep, a turtle-dove, and pigeons." 

Jub. vi. 17 f. lays great stress on the importance of the 
festival of Pentecost, even attributing its institution to 
Noah and the patriarchs ; our book varies this by connecting 
the institution of Passover with Adam and the patriarchs 
(pp. 153, 236). 

Jub. vi. 23-29 dwells on the importance of the New 
Moon; this occurs also in our book, p. 410. 

Jub. vii. 2, 35 ff., xvi. 20-31, and xxi. 7-17 refers to 
the age of the patriarchs various laws other than the seven 
precepts of the sons of Noah. This tendency is followed 
by our book, which mentions Sha'atne? (p. 154; see Lev. 
xix. 19), Sabbath (p. 142), Habdalah (pp. 145 f.), and the 
wedding benediction (pp. 89 f.) in connection with the life of 
Adam. 

Noah divides the earth among his three sons (Jub. viii. 
11). Dr. Charles {in loc.) refers to Beer, who quotes P.R.E. 
xxiv. The actual text in Jub. viii. 11-30 should be compared 
with the last paragraph in P.R.E. xxiii. (pp. 172 f.), which 
might reasonably be looked upon as a condensed version of the 
twenty verses in Jubilees. Thus the first sentence in P.R.E. 
{loc. cit.) reads : " Noah brought his sons and his grandsons, 
and he blessed them with their (several) settlements, and 
he gave them as an inheritance all the earth." Jubilees 
(viii. 11) reads : " And he called his sons, and they drew 
nigh to him, they and their children, and he divided the 
earth into the lots, which his three sons were to take in 
possession." Shem receives according to Jubilees (viii. 12) 
" the middle of the earth," and according to P.R.E. {loc. 
cit.) he inherits " the habitable land." Ham receives 
" beyond the Gihon . . . and it extends towards the west 
to the sea of 'Atel, and it extends . . . till it reaches the 
sea of Ma'uk " (Jub. viii. 22). Dr. Charles {in loc.) thinks 
that Ma'uk is a distortion of 'fiKcavos, the great ocean 
stream. P.R.E. {loc. cit.) reads : " He blessed Ham and his 
sons . . . and he gave them as an inheritance the coast of 



INTRODUCTION xxv 

the sea." Japhet's portion is Northern Asia, Europe, and 
five great islands (Jub. viii. 25-29a) ; and according to P.R.E. 
(loc. cit.) he receives " for an inheritance the desert and its 
fields." 

Both books agree (Jub. xii. 26, P.R.E. p. 188) in saying 
that Abraham spoke Hebrew, the holy language of the 
Creation. In both books Satan (or Sammael in P.R.E., 
Mastema in Jubilees) plays a striking part, he is a chief or 
prince (see Jub. xvii. 16 and xlviii. 2, and P.R.E. p. 92). 
Jub. X. 11 identifies Satan and Mastema; a parallel to this 
section of Jubilees (x. 8-11) is to be found in our book 
(p. 363 f.). According to Jub. iii. 17 the serpent alone was 
the cause of the fall of Eve ; our author (p. 92), following 
other legends, describes Sammael as using the serpent in his 
plot against Eve. In Jub. xviii. 9, 12, Mastema is put to 
shame at the sacrifice of Isaac ; this legend reappears in 
P.R.E. (pp. 228, 233 f.), according to which Sammael attempts 
to hinder Abraham. 

The fundamental importance of circumcision is insisted 
upon in both books (Jub. xv. 11 ff. and P.R.E. xxix.), and 
they both refer to the serious neglect of the rite (Jub. xv. 
33 f. and P.R.E. pp. 212 ff.). According to Jub. xv. 30-32 
and P.R.E. p. 177, Israel alone is subject to God, whilst 
the nations of the world are subject to the dominion of the 
angels. Both books, Jub. xvii. 17 and P.R.E. pp. 187 ff., 
refer to the ten trials of Abraham. Again, both books 
(.lub. xxi. 17 ; P.R.E. pp. 61, 212) lay stress on the duty of 
covering the blood with dust. They also agree (Jub. xxii. 
16; P.R.E. pp. 208, 301) in ordaining restrictions as to 
the food of non-Jews. Isaac's oath to the Philistines 
(Jub. xxiv. 25, 33) reappears in our book, pp. 278 f. Jub. xxxii. 
2 f. has a close parallel in our book (p. 284), about the 
story of the choice of Levi as the tithe devoted to God. 

There is considerable agreement in both books on 
Angelology and Demonology. Both books teach the 
eternal validity of the Law, older than creation and coming 
from the custody of the angels in heaven. 

On the other hand, there are many divergent teachings. 
We have already referred to the Calendar. According to 
Jub. i. 27 (see Charles' ed. p. Ixiv f.) an angel reveals the 
Law to Moses ; our author (p. 320) opposes this doctrine, 



xxvi INTRODUCTION 

which was taught in Hellenistic Jewish and Christian circles 
(see LXX to Deut. xxxiii. 2 and Acts of the Apostles vii. 
53, and cf. Josephus quoted in the Westminster N.T. ed. 
of Acts, loc. cit.). In P.R.E. {loc. cit. and pp. 324 f. and 327) 
God alone gives the Law, although myriads of ministering 
angels are present. Jub. ii. 2-3 fixes the first day for the 
creation of the angels, our book (p. 20) gives the second day. 
Aecordinjj to Jub. ii. 7 the "arden of Eden was created on 
the third day, whereas in our book (p. 11) it belongs to the 
premundane creation. Jub. iv. 15, 22, identifies the angels 
of the Lord who descended on the earth with the Watchers 
who sinned with the daughters of men. This interpretation 
of the " sons of Elohim " is accepted by our author (p. 160), 
who qualifies it by adding that the Israelites are also called 
"sons of God" (p. 161). Dr. Charles {Jubilees, pp. 33 ff., 
note 14) refers to the Christian interpretation of " the sons 
of God " as indicating " the good among mankind, the 
descendants of Seth, and the daughters of men to be the 
descendants of Cain." Our author (p. 158 f.) tells us that, 
" all the generations of the righteous arose from Seth," 
whereas " from Cain arose and were descended all the 
generations of the wicked." Jub. v. 7 teaches that the 
sons of the angels who rebelled against God slew one another 
with the sword, but our author (p. 162) varies this by letting 
them perish in the flood. In Jub. xii. 14, Haran, the brother 
of Abraham, is burnt in the fire, whereas according to our 
book (p. 188) it is Abraham who is cast into the fire and 
rescued by Divine interposition. 

In Jub. xix. 11 the marriage of Abraham \vith Keturah 
is spoken of as his third marriage, " for Hagar had died 
before Sarah "; this is contradicted by our author (p. 219), 
who identifies Keturah and Hagar. Jub. xxx. 2 ff. gives 
the praise of Simeon and Levi in connection with the 
punishment which they inflicted upon Shechem; this is 
omitted in our book (pp. 288 f.), which speaks of Jacob 
cursing the wrath of his sons, " and he also cursed their 
sword in the Greek language " ; Jubilees (xxx. 25) adds, 
" And he reproached them because they had put the city 
to the sword and he feared those who dwelt in the land." 
In Jub. xxxiv. 12, 18 f., the institution of the Day of Atone- 
ment is connected with the sale of Joseph ; this view is 



INTRODUCTION xxvii 

controverted by our book (p. 204) by associating the Day 
with Abraham. In Jub. xxxviii. 2, Jacob is represented 
as slaying Esati; our author (p. 309) varies this tradition 
by referring the incident to the action of Chushim, the 
son of Dan, a deaf mute, on the occasion of the burial of 
Jacob. Jub. xl. 10 rejects the legend which formed the 
basis of the Hellenistic Jewish romance dealing with the 
history of Asenath (see Hastings' Bible Diet. i. 162), accord- 
ing to which Asenath was of the house of Israel ; our 
book (pp. 272 f,, 287 f.) adopts this legend, and states that 
she was the daughter of Dinah. Our book differs from Jubilees 
by omitting the sins of Reuben and Judah and by enun- 
ciating the doctrine of the resurrection. There are many 
other points of connection between the two books, some 
of which will be indicated in the notes. 

The most valuable contribution to the study of Jubilees 
in its relation to the Midrashim is B. Beer's Das Bueh der 
Juhilaen (1856). This was amplified by a second essay 
by the same author. These important pioneer works are 
indispensable. Dr. Marmorstein has a chapter on " Jubilees 
and Pal. Targum " in his Studien zum Pseud-Jonathan 
Targum (1905), pp. 22-26. Dr. Kohler's article on Jubilees 
in J.E. vii. pp. 301 ff. should also be consulted in this 
connection. 

Ethiopic Enoch, usually known as 1 Enoch, also contains 
many ideas which seem to be repeated or reflected in our 
book. The notes contain the references to many of these 
similar thoughts. Some of the most interesting points 
of contact are the following : 

1 Enoch vi. 2 : " The angels " are " the children of heaven " ; 
cf. P.E.E. p. 161 : " Whilst they (the angels) were still 
in their holy place in heaven, these were called the sons 
of God." 

— vi. 4 : " Let us all swear an oath and all bind ourselves 

by mutual imprecations," cf. P.E.E. (p. 293), which 
reads : " Let us swear among ourselves . . . and 
they proclaimed the ban " (mn). 

— vii. 1-5 : " And all the others together with them took 

unto themselves wives . . . and they began to go 
in unto them . . . and they bare great giants . . . 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

who consumed nil the acquisitions of men. The 
giants turned against them and devoured mankind 
. . . and drunk the blood." Cf. P.R.E. (pp. 160 f.) : 
" The angels . . , took wives from amongst them 
. . . from them were born the giants . . . who 
stretched forth their hands to all (kinds of) robbery 
and violence, and shedding of blood." 
1 Enoch viii. 1,2: " And the beautifying of the eyelids . . . 
and they committed fornication, and they were led 
astray"; cf. P.R.E. (p. 160): "their eyes painted 
like harlots, and they went astray after them." 

— ix. 1 : " Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel " ; cf. P.R.E. 

(p. 22) : " Michael . . . Gabriel . . . Uriel . . . 
and Raphael." 

— ix. 1, 2 and x. 2 : " Much blood being shed upon the earth, 

and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth. . . . 
The earth made without inhabitant cries the voice 
of their crying up to the gates of heaven . . . and 
a deluge is about to come " ; cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. and 
also p. 162 : " Behold, we will restrain ourselves 
from multiplying and increasing, so as not to produce 
the offspring of the children of men. . . . They said. 
If He bring from heaven the waters of the flood." 

— X. 4 : " Bind Azazel . . . and make an opening in the 

desert . . . and cast him therein " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 363 : 
" and the lot for Azazel was the goat as a sin offering " 
(cf. Charles' note on p. 22 of Jubilees). 

— xii. 4 (and cf. xv. 3) : " The Watchers of the heaven who 

have left the high heaven, the holy eternal place " ; 
cf. P.R.E. p. 160 : " The angels who fell from their 
holy place in heaven," cf. ibid. pp. 46, 92, and 194. 

— xiv. 9 ff. : " Crystals . . . and fiery cherubim between 

them, (that house) was hot as fire and cold as ice . . . 
fear covered me and tremblings gat hold upon me . . . 
and I looked and saw therein a lofty throne, its 
appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as 
the shining sun, and there was the vision of the 
Cherubim, And from underneath the throne came 
streams of flaming fire so that I could not look 
thereon. And the Great Glory sat thereon. None 
of the angels could enter and could behold His 



INTRODUCTION xxix 

face. . . . The flaming fire was round about Him . . . 
ten thousand times ten thousand (angels stood) before 
Him." Cf. P.R.E., Chapter IV. (pp. 21-25), where 
we read of the " crystal . . . and the fiery minister- 
ing angels and the Shekhinah of the Holy One . . . 
sitting on a throne high and exalted. The appearance 
of His Glory is like the colour of amber (or crystal). One 
half (of His Glory) is fire and the other half is hail . . . 
and a veil is spread before Him, and the seven 
angels . . . minister before Him. . . . Fire is flashing 
continually around His throne, and the Chajjoth 
(around the throne) . . . are the Cherubim . . . the 
whirling wheels of the Chariot, lightnings ... go 
forth. . . . The Chajjoth ... do not know the 
place of His Glory ... a river of fire arises and goes 
forth before Him. . . . The Seraphim . . . cover 
their face so as not to behold the presence of the 
Shekhinah." 
1 Enoch xvii. 5 refers to the river of fire, cf. P.R.E. pp. 25 
and 412. 

— xviii. 2: "And I saw the Corner Stone of the Earth," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 71 : " and he saw there the Foundation 
Stone," and cf. ibid. p. 266. 

— xviii. 5 : " The firmament of the heaven above," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 21 : " The firmament which is above the 
head of the four Chajjoth." 

— xviii. 8 : " And the summit of the throne was of sapphire," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 23 : " And the likeness of His throne 
is like a sapphire throne." ^ 

— XX. 2-8 : here the Seven Archangels are mentioned ; 

P.R.E. p. 23 refers to " the seven angels, which were 
created first, (who) minister before God." Four of these 
seven angels mentioned in 1 Enoch are Uriel, Raphael, 
Michael, and Gabriel ; these four names occur also in 
P.R.E. p. 22 ; cf. also 1 Enoch xl. 9. 

— XXV, 5 : " Its fruit shall be good for the elect : it shall 

be transplanted to the holy place, to the temple of 
the Lord," cf. P.R.E. p. 418 f. 

— XXV. 6 : " And they shall live a long life on earth . . . 

and in their days shall no sorrow or plague or torment 
1 Cf. Ezek. i. 26. 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

or calamity touch them " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 411 f. and 
418, for a similar expression and idea. 
1 Enoch xxvi. 1 : " The middle of the earth," cf. P.R.E. p. 266, 
for parallel expression. 

— xxxii. 1 : Seven mountains are referred to, cf. P.R.E. p. 71. 

— xxxiii. 2 : " The ends of the earth whereon the heavens 

rest," cf. P.R.E. p. 16. 

— xxxiv. 3 : The north is described, cf. P.R.E. p. 17. 

— xxxvi. 1 : " I went to the south to the ends of the earth 

. . . and thence there come dew, rain, and wind"; 
P.R.E. p. 17 reads : " From the quarter facing south 
the dews of blessing and the rains of blessing go 
forth to the world." 

— xxxvi. 4 : " That they might praise His work," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 8 f. 

— xxxvii. 2 : "It had been good for them if they had not 

been born," cf. P.R.E. pp. 104 f. 

— xxxvii. 4 : " Has caused His light to appear on the face 

of the holy," cf. P.R.E. p. 7. 

— xxxix. 7 : " And all the righteous . . . shall be strong 

as fiery lights," cf. P.R.E. p. 21. 

— xxxix. 11 : " He knows before the world was created 

what is for ever," cf. P.R.E. p. 11. 
Cf. 1 Enoch xxxix. 12-13 and P.R.E. p. 26, on the trisagion. 
1 Enoch xl. 1 : " And on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits 

I saw four presences," cf. P.R.E. pp. 22 f. 

— xli. 7 : " The one (sun) holding a position opposite to the 

other," cf. P.R.E. p. 44. 

— xlv. 4, 5 : "I will transform the heaven . . . and I will 

transform the earth," cf. P.R.E. pp. 410 ff. 

— xlvii. 3 : " The books of the living," of. P.R.E. p. 104 

(note 6). 

— xlviii. 3: " Yea before the sun . . . his name was named," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 12 and 233. 

— li. 1 : " The earth shall give back that which has been 

entrusted to it," cf. P.R.E. pp. 258 and 335. 

— lii. 7 : " None shall be saved, either by gold or by silver," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 256 f. 

— liv. 6 : " And cast them into the burning furnace," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 103. 

— liv. 8 : " The waters shall be joined with the waters, that 



INTRODUCTION xxxi 

which is above the heavens is the mascuhne and 
the water which is beneath the earth is the feminine," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 167. 
1 Enoch Iv. 2 : " This shall be a pledge of good faith between 
Me and them for ever as long as heaven is above the 
earth," cf. P.B.E. p. 172. 

— Ivi. 7 : " And they shall begin to fight among themselves," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 62. 

— Iviii. 3 : " The righteous shall be in the light of the sun 

. . . the days of their life shall be unending," cf. 
P.R.E. pp. 21, 412, and 418. 

— Ix. 4 : " Michael sent another angel . . . and he raised me 

up . . . and my spirit returned," cf. P.R.E. p. 325. 

— Ix. 7 : " Leviathan," cf. P.R.E. pp. 63 f. and 70. 

— Ix. 8 : " Behemoth," cf. P.R.E. pp. 75 f. 

— Ix. 20 : " The waters are for those who dwell on the earth, 

for they are nourishment for the earth," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 87 

— Ixi. 5 : " Those who have been destroyed by the desert, 

and those who have been devoured by the beasts, 
and those who have been devoured by the fish of the 
sea, that they may return," cf. P.R.E. p. 249. 

— Ixii. 2 : " The word of his mouth slays all the sinners," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 379. 

— Ixii. 16 : " They shall have been clothed with garments 

of glory," cf. P.R.E. p. 98. 

— Ixv. 7 : " How silver is produced from the dust of the 

earth," cf. P.R.E. p. 181. 

— Ixvii. 8 : " And those waters . . . shall serve for the 

heahng of the body," cf. P.R.E. p. 418. 

— Ixix. 6 : " And he led astray Eve," cf. P.R.E. pp. 92, 94 f., 

and 150 f. 

— Ixix. 11 : " For men were created exactly like the angels," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 85, 151, and 378. 

— Ixix. 18 : " The sea was created, and as its foundation 

He set for it the sand against the time of its anger," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 27 f. 

— Ixx. 3 : " He set me between the two winds, between the 

north and the west, where the angels took the cords 
to measure," cf. P.R.E. p. 416 f. 

— Ixxi. 4 : " The ends of the heaven," cf. P.R.E. p. 16. 



Ixxii. 3 
Ixxii. 5 



xxxii INTRODUCTION 

1 Enoch Ixxi. 15: "The world to come," cf. P.E.E. pp. 112, 
228, and 230. 

— Ixxi. 15 : " Since the creation of the world," ef, P.R.E. 

p. 420. 

— Ixxii. 1 : " Till the new creation," cf. P.R.E. p. 411. 

— Ixxii. 2 : " The portals which are in the east," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 37 ff. 

— Ixxii. 3 : " The leaders of the stars," cf. P.R.E. p. 34. 
" Windows," cf. P.R.E. pp. 37 ff. 
" The chariot on which he {i.e. the sun) ascends," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 40. 

— Ixxii. 14 : " The day becomes double the night," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 322. 

— Ixxii. 37 : " But as regards size they are both equal," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 31. 

— Ixxv. 1 : " And the leaders render service," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 34. 

— Ixxvii. 1-3 refers to the four quarters of the world, cf. 

P.R.E. p. 17. 

— Ixxvii. 4 : " Seven mountains," cf. P.R.E. p. 71. 

— Ixxvii. 5 : " Seven rivers," cf. P.R.E. pp. 140 f. 

— Ixxviii. 3 : " The size ... of both is alike," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 31. 

— Ixxviii. 12 : " She becomes full moon exactly on the 

day when the sun sets in the west," cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 50 f. 

— Ixxxii. 1 : "So preserve the books . . . and see that 

thou deliver them to the generations of the world," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 52 f. 

— Ixxxix. 9 : " One was white . . . one . . . red, and one 

black," cf. P.R.E. pp. 172 f. 

— Ixxxix. 59 : " And he called seventy shepherds," cf. 

P.R.E. pp. 67, 176 f., and 221. 

— xci. 16 : " All the powers of the heavens shall give seven- 

fold light," cf. P.R.E. p. 412. 

— xciii. 11 : " Who is there of all the children of men that 

is able to hear the voice of the Holy One ? " etc., cf. 
P.R.E. p. 9. 

— xcviii. 9 : " Wherefore do not hope to live, ye sinners 

. . . for ye have no ransom," cf. P.R.E. pp. 256 
and 416. 



INTRODUCTION xxxiii 

1 Enoch c. 1 : " And brothers, one with another shall fall in 
death," of. P.R.E. pp. 220 f. 

— ci. 6 : " Has He not set limits to the doings (of the sea) 

and confined it throughout by the sand ? " cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 27 f. 

— civ, 1 : " Remember you for good," cf. P.R.E. p. 2. 

— cvi. 2 : " And when he opened his eyes, he lighted up the 

whole house like the sun, and the whole house was 
very bright," cf. P.R.E. p. 7. 

— cvi. 5 : " Resembling the sons of the God of heaven . , . 

sprung from the angels," cf. P.R.E. p. 161. 

The similar phrases and ideas which occur in P.R.E. and 
in the Book of the Secrets of Enoch, usually known as the 
Slavonic Enoch, are noteworthy. Many of the following 
references are given in the notes on our book : 
Slav. Enoch iv. 1 : " The rulers of the orders of the stars," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 34. 

— iv. 1 : " Angels who rule the stars and their heavenly 

service," cf. P.R.E. pp. 34 and 46. 

— V. 1 : " The treasuries of the snow and ice," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 17. 

— vi. : " The treasuries of the dew," cf. P.R.E. pp. 17, 

236. 

— X. 3 : " The angels terrible and without pity," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 103. 

— xi. 3 : " The chariot of the sun," cf. P.R.E. p. 40. 

— xi. 4 : " Angels go with the sun, each angel has six 

wings," cf. P.R.E. p. 40. 

— xii. 2 : " Their wings were like those of angels, each with 

twelve," cf. P.R.E. p. 92. 

— xiii. 2 : " Six . . . gates, each gate having sixty-one 

stadia," cf. P.R.E. p. 37. 

— xiv. 2 : " Angels take his {i.e. the sun's) crown," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 40. 

— xvi. 8 : " And seven (months) are computed to the circle 

of the moon during a revolution of nineteen years," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 57. 

— xviii. 4 and 5 : " The Watchers with their prince Satanail, 

. . . and of them there went three to the earth from 
the throne of God . . . and took unto themselves wives 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION 

. . . and the giants were born and . . . there was 
much wickedness," cf. P.R.E. pp. 160 fv 
Slav. Enoch xix. 1 : " Seven bands of angels . . . superintend 
the good or evil condition of the world," cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 103 f. 

— xix. 3 : " They hold in subjection all living things both 

in heaven and earth," cf. P.R.E. pp. 48 f. 

— xix. 6 : " Seven Cherubim . . . and they rejoice before 

the Lord at His footstool " (cf. Rev. iv. 6). See 
P.R.E. p. 23. 

— XX. 3 : " The Lord from afar sitting on His lofty throne," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 22. 

— xxi. 1 : " The six-winged creatures overshadow all His 

throne, singing : Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of 
Sabaoth ! heaven and earth are full of Thy glory," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 25 f. 

— xxii. 6 : " Michael, the chief captain, lifted me up and 

brought me before the face of the Lord," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 284. 

— xxiii. 6 : " 366 books," cf. P.R.E. pp. 37 and 165. 

— xxiv. 3 : " Nor have (My angels) understood ]My infinite 

creation," cf. P.R.E. p. 25. 

— xxiv. 4 : " For before anything which is visible existed, I 

alone held my course," cf. P.R.E. p. 10. 

— xxiv. 5 : " And I planned to lay the foundations," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 10. 

— XXV. 4 : " And I made for Myself a throne, and sat upon 

it," cf. P.R.E. p. 11. 

— xxviii. 4 : "I gathered the sea . . . and I restrained it 

with a yoke," cf. P.R.E. pp. 27 f. 

— xxix. 3 : " From the fire I made the ranks of the spiritual 

hosts, ten thousand angels . . . and their garment 
is a burning flame," cf. P.R.E. pp. 21 and 25. 

— xxix. 5 : " And I hurled (Satanail) from the heights with 

his angels," cf. P.R.E. pp. 99 and 193 f. 

— XXX. 11 : " And I placed (Adam) upon the earth, like a 

second angel, in an honourable, great, and glorious 
way," cf. P.R.E. pp. 85 and 89. 

— XXX. 12 : " And I made him a ruler to rule upon the 

earth," cf. P.R.E. pp. 79 and 80. 

— XXX. 15 : " And I showed him the two ways, the light and 



INTRODUCTION xxxv 

the darkness, and I said unto him : ' This is good and 
this is evil,' " cf. P.R.E. p. 102. 
Slav. Enoch xxxi. 1 : " And I made a garden in Eden . . . and 
(I ordained) that he should observe the law and keep 
the instruction," cf, P.R.E. pp. 84 f. 

— xxxi. 2 : " And I made for him the heavens open that 

he should perceive the angels singing the song of 
triumph," cf. P.R.E. pp. 89 f. 

— xxxi. 3 : " And the devil took thought, as if wishing 

to make another world, because things were sub- 
servient to Adam on earth, to rule it and have lord- 
ship over it," cf. P.R.E. pp. 91 f. 

— xxxi. 4 : " He became Satan after he left the heavens," cf. 

P.R.E. pp. 92 and 193 f. 

— xxxi. 6 : " He conceived designs against Adam ; in such a 

manner he entered and deceived Eve. But he did not 
touch Adam " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 92, 94 and 150 f. 

— xl. 2 : " The heavens and the end of them," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 16. 

— xl. 6 : "I have laid down the four seasons, and from the 

seasons I made four circles, and in the circles I placed 
the years," cf. P.R.E. p. 35. 

— xl. 12 : " The lowest hell," cf. P.R.E. pp. 340 f. 

— xli. 2 : " Blessed is the man who was not born," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 104 f. 

— xlii. 1 : " The guardians of the gates of hell," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 103. 

— xlii. 3 : " Rest has been prepared for the just," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 128, 255 (note 4). 

— xlii. 4 : " Blessed is he who turns from the unstable path 

of this vain world, and walks by the righteous path 
which leads to eternal hfe," cf. P.R.E. p. 103. 

— xliv. 1 : " God made man with His own hands," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 148. 

— xliv. 3 : " If a man spits at the face of another," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 434. 

— xlviii. 1,2: "I gave (the sun) 182 thrones when he goes on 

a short day, and also 182 thrones when he goes on a 
long day, and he has two thrones on which he rests," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 37. 

— xlviii. 2 : " From the month Si van after seventeen days 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION 

he descends to the month Thevan (? Kislev) and from 
the 17th day of Thevad (? Tebeth) he ascends," cf. 
P.R.E. p. 38. 
Slav. Enoch 1. 2 : " Ye shall inherit the endless life that is 
to come," cf. P.R.E. p. 137. 

— 1. 5 : " Whoever shall spend gold or silver for the sake of 

a brother shall receive abundant treasure in the day of 
judgment," cf. P.R.E. p. 238. 

— Hi. 11 : " Blessed is he who establishes peace and love," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 102 f. 

— lii. 12 : " Cursed is he who troubles those who are at 

peace," cf. P.R.E. pp. 310 f. 

— liii. 1 : " For there is no person there to help any man who 

has sinned," cf. P.R.E. pp. 104 f. and 341. 

— Iviii. 1 : " In those days when the Lord came upon the 

earth for the sake of Adam," cf. P.R.E. p. 89. 

— lix. 5 : "If any one does an injury to an animal secretly, 

it is an evil custom," cf. P.R.E. p. 291. 

— Ixi. 2 : " Mansions : good for the good, evil for the evil," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 104 f. and 255. 

— Ixii. 2 : "If he let the appointed time pass and does not 

perform the works, he is not blessed, for there is no 
repentance after death," cf. P.R.E. p. 341. 

— Ixiii. 1 : " When a man . . . feeds the hungry, he gets a 

recompense from God," cf. P.R.E. pp. 181 f. 

— Ixv. 3 : " The Lord contemplated the world for the sake 

of man, and made all the creation for his sake," cf. 
P.R.E. pp. 29 and 86 f. 

— Ixv. 9 : " There shall be ... no sickness nor anxiety," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 411 f. 

— Ixvi. 6 : " They (the just) shall be seven times brighter 

than the sun," cf. P.R.E. p. 412. 
Appendix, p. 90 (iii. 17) : At the birth of Melchizedek, " the 
child was complete in its body like one of three years 
old ; and spake with its lips and blessed the Lord " ; 
cf. P.R.E. p. 161. 

— p. 91 (iii. 35) : " The middle of the earth where Adam 

was created," cf. P.R.E. p. 143. 

(iii. 36) : " As Adam buried his son Abel there, . . . 

wherefore he lay unburicd . . . till he saw a bird called 
a jackdaw burying its fledgling " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 156. 



INTRODUCTION xxxvii 



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and P.R.E. 

Test. Reuben v. 5-7 : " Command your wives and daughters 
that they adorn not their heads and faces . . . for thus 
they allured the Watchers who were before the flood 
. . . and the women gave birth to giants " ; cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 160 f. 

Test. Simeon ii. 8 : " His God . . sent forth His angel and 
deUvered " (Joseph), cf. P.R.E. p. 292. 

— ii. 10 : " When Reuben heard (of the sale of Joseph) 

he was grieved, for he wished to restore him to his 
father," cf. P.R.E. pp. 292 f. 

— iv. 4 : " Now Joseph . . . had the Spirit of God within 

him," cf. P.R.E. p. 305. 

— V. 3 : " Then shall perish the seed of Canaan, and a 

remnant shall not be unto Amalek," cf. P.R.E. p. 347. 
Test. Levi ii. 7 : " And I saw there a great sea hanging 
between " (the first and second heaven), cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 16 and 39. 

— ii. 10 : " The redemption of Israel," cf. P.R.E. pp. 62 

and 72. 

— iii. 4 : " In the highest (heaven) of all dwelleth the Great 

Glory," cf. P.R.E. p. 22. 

— iii. 5 : " And in ... it are the angels of the presence of 

the Lord, who minister," cf. P.R.E. p. 22. 

— iii. 9 : " When, therefore, the Lord looketh upon all 

creation, the heavens and the earth and the abysses 
are shaken," cf. P.R.E. pp. 23 ff. 

— iv. 2 : (Levi) to be " a servant and a minister of His 

presence," cf. P.R.E. p. 284. 

— V. 1, 3 : " The angel opened to me the gates of heaven 

and I saw . . . upon a throne of glory the Most High 
. . . then the angel brought me down to the earth " ; 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 22 and 284. 

— vi. 8 : " They sought to do to . . . Rebecca as they had 

done to Dinah," cf. P.R.E. pp. 110 f. 

— viii. 3, 4 : " When we came to Bethel, my father Jacob 

saw a vision concerning me, that I should be their 
priest unto God . . . and he paid tithes of all to the 
Lord through me " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 283 f. 



xxxviii INTRODUCTION 

Test. Levi xiii. 5, 6 : " Work righteousness . . . upon the 
earth, that ye may have a treasure in heaven, and soro 
good things in your souls, that yc may find them in 
your hfe " ; cf. P.K.E. p. 238. 

— xvi. 4 : " And your holy plaecs shall be laid waste . . . 

and ye shall have no place that is clean," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 221. 

— xviii. 9, 11: "Sin shall come to an end, and tlie lawless 

shall cease to do evil. . . . And he shall give to the 
saints to eat from the tree of life," cf. P.R^E. pp. 411 
and 418. 
Test. Judah vii. 7 : (And the Canaanites) " besought my father 
(Jacob) and he made peace with them," cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 279 f. 

— ix. 2, 3 : " Esau, the brother of my father, came upon us 

with a mighty and strong people, and Jacob smote 
Esau with an arrow and he was taken up wounded 
on Mount Seir " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 309 f. 

— xxii. 2 and ef. Test. Naph. viii. 2 : " Until the 

salvation of Israel shall come," ef. P.R.E. pp. 62 
and 72. 

— xxiii. 2 ff. : Messianic woes are described, cf. P.R.E. pp. 

62 and 221 f. 

— xxiii. 4 : " And they shall make some of you eunuchs," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 426. 

— xxiv. 4 : Messiah called " branch," cf. P.R.E. p. 384. 

— XXV. 4 : " They who have died in grief shall arise in joy, 

and they who were poor for the Lord's sake shall 
awake to Hfe," cf. P.R.E. p. 252. 
Test. Zebulun i. 5, 6 : " For I covenanted with my brethren 
not to tell my father what had been done ... be- 
cause they had all agreed, that if any one should 
declare the secret, he should be slain," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 293. 

— iii. 2 : (They) " took the price of Joseph and bought 

sandals for themselves," cf. P.R.E. p. 293. 

— iv. 5 : " Reuben's sorrow," cf. P.R.E. p. 293. 

— ix. 4 : " Be not ye, therefore, divided into two heads, 

for everything which the Lord made hath but one 
head " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 333. 
Test. Dan. ii. 2, 3 : " For anger is blindness . . . though it be 



INTRODUCTION xxxix 

a prophet of the Lord, he disobey eth him," of. P.R.E. 
p. 373. 
Test. Dan. iv. 7 : " When the soul is . . . disturbed, the Lord 
departeth from it," of. P.R.E. , loc. cit. 

— V. 6 : " Your prince is Satan," cf. P.R.E. p. 92. 

— V. 12 : "And the saints shall rest in Eden," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 58 and 128. 

— vi. 4 : " On the day on which Israel shall repent, the 

kingdom of the enemy shall be brought to an end, 

for the very angel of peace ^ shall strengthen Israel " ; 

cf. P.R.E. p. 344. 
In Test. Naphtali i. 11, 12, Zilpah and Bilhah are sisters, 

cf. P.R.E. p. 271. 
Test. Naphtali ii. 1 : "I was swift on my feet like the deer," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 309. 

— iii. 4 : " Sodom, which changed the order of nature," cf. 

P.R.E. pp. 181 ff. 

— iii. 5 : " The Watchers, . . . whom the Lord cursed at 

the flood, on whose account He made the earth 
without inhabitant and fruitless," cf. P.R.E. p. 162. 

— V. 6, 7 : "A bull . . . ^vith two great horns . . . and 

Joseph came and seized him, and ascended up with 
him on high," cf. P.R.E. p. 131. 

— V. 8 : " Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Syrians shall possess 

in captivity the twelve tribes of Israel," cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 128, 201 f., and 265. 

— vii. 4 : "To declare that Joseph had been sold, but I 

feared my brethren," cf. P.R.E. p. 293. 

— viii. 5 : " For a good work there is a good remembrance 

before God," cf. P.R.E. pp. 290 and 309. 
Test. Gad i. 6, 7 : " Joseph told our father that the sons of 
Zilpah and Bilhah were slaying the best of the 
flock ... for he saw that I had delivered a lamb 
out of the mouth of the bear . . . and had slain the 
lamb, being grieved concerning it that it could not 
live " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 291. 

— ii. 3 : " Therefore I and Simeon sold him to the Ishmael- 

ites for thirty pieces of gold," cf. P.R.E. pp. 292 f. 

— V. 10 : " For by what things a man transgresseth, by the 

same also is he punished," cf. P.R.E. pp. 185 and 331 f. 
1 Elijah=Phineas. 



xl INTRODUCTION 

Test. Gad vii. 4 : " Though a man became rich by evil 
means, even as Esau, the brother of my father," of. 
PM.E. p. 290. 

— vii. 5 : " The unrepentant is reserved for eternal punish- 

ment," cf. P.R.E. p. 105. 
Test. Asher i. 3 : " Two ways hath God given to the sons of 
men," cf. P.R.E. p. 102. 

— vii. 4, 5, 6 : " For the latter end of men do show their 

righteousness (or unrighteousness), when they meet 
the angels of the Lord and of Satan. For when the 
soul departs troubled, it is tormented by the evil 
spirit . . . but if he is peaceful with joy he meeteth 
the angel of peace, and he leadeth him into eternal 
life " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 103 ff., 255. 

— vii. 1 : " Sodom which . . . perished for ever," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 186. 
Test. Joseph ii. 1 : " The God of Israel my father delivered 
me (Joseph) from the burning flame," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 305. 

— ii. 7 : " In ten temptations He showed me approved," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 187. 

— iii. 3 : " But I remembered the words of my father " 

(and sinned not with the Egyptian woman) ; cf. P.R.E. 
p. 305. 

— iii. 7 : " Because she had no male child she pretended to 

regard me as a son, and so I prayed to the Lord, and 
she bare a male child," cf. P.R.E. p. 288. 

— vi. 6 : " The God of my father hath revealed unto me 

by His angel thy wickedness," cf. P.R.E. p. 305. 

— X. 2 : " The Lord will dwell among you, because He 

loveth chastity," cf. P.RE. pp. 305 f. 
Test. Benjamin iv. 1 : " That ye also may wear crowns of 
glory," cf. P.R.E. pp. 367 f. 

The Greek Apocalypse of Baruch or 3 Baruch contains 

several phrases and ideas common to P.R.E. 

Both books profess to reveal the mysteries of God, thus 

3 Baruch ii. 1 refers to the firmament and " where there 

was a river " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 16, and see also A. and P. 

ii. p. 534. 

3 Baruch iii. 5, 6 : "A woman making bricks . . . brought 



INTRODUCTION xli 

forth while she was making bricks . . . and the Lord 
appeared to them," cf. P.R.E. pp. 385 f. 
3 Baruch iv. 6 and v. 2 : " Dragon . . . also drinks about 
a cubit from the sea, which does not sink at all " ; 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 75 f., and see A. and P. p. 535, 
note 3. 

— iv. 8 : " Tree which led Adam astray . . . which Sammael 

planted," cf. P.R.E. p. 95. 

— iv. 10 : " The flood . . . removed without the bounds 

(of Paradise) the shoot of the vine and cast it outside," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 170. 
• — iv. 11 : (Noah) " found also the shoot of the vine," cf. 
P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— iv. 16 : (Adam) " was divested of the glory of God," 

P.R.E. p. 98. 

— vi. 1, 2, and vii. 4 : " The sun . . . chariot . . . crown of 

fire," cf. P.R.E. p. 40. 

— vi. 5 : " Expanding his wings receives its fiery rays," cf. 

P.R.E. pp. 25 and 40. 

— vi. 7 : " On his right wing very large letters," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 40. 

— ix. 7 : " Sammael when he took the serpent as a garment," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 92. 

— xiv. 2 : " Michael . . . presenting the merits of men to 

God," cf. P.R.E. p. 386. 

The (Syriac) Apocalypse nf Baruch, and P.R.E. 

Baruch iv. 3 : (The city) " which was prepared beforehand 
here from the time when I took counsel to make 
Paradise," cf. P.R.E. p. 14, note 10. 

— iv. 3 : " And showed (Paradise) to Adam before he 

sinned," cf. P.R.E. p. 128. 

— vi. 9 : " Jerusalem ... is again (to be) restored for 

ever," cf. P.R.E. p. 414. 

— X. 6 : " Blessed is he who was not born," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 104 f. 

— xi. 4 : " The righteous sleep in the earth," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 260. 

— xiv. 18 : (Man) " was by no means made on account of 

the world, but the world on account of him . . . 



xlii INTRODUCTION 

on account of the righteous has this world come," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 62 f., 76, and 86 f. 
Baruch xvii. 2 : " Adam . . . Hved nine hundred and thirty- 
years," cf. P.R.E. p. 128, and see Gen. v. 5. 

— xviii. 2 : " Darkness of Adam," cf. P.R.E. p. 144. 

— xxi. 6 : " The holy living creatures . . . which Thou 

didst make from the beginning, of flame and fire, 
which stand around Thy throne," cf. P.R.E. pp. 21 
and 23 f. 

— xxiv. 2 : " Who has been long-suffering towards all those 

born that sin and are righteous," cf. P.R.E. p. 76. 

— xxviii. 2 : " For the measure and reckoning of that time 

are two parts weeks of seven weeks," cf. P.R.E. 
pp. 62 and 200 f. 

— xxix. 4 : " And Behemoth will be revealed from his 

place, and Leviathan will ascend from the sea . . . 
then they will be for food for all that are left," cf. 
P.R.E. pp. 70, 72, and 76. 

— xxix. 7 : " The dew of health," cf. P.R.E. pp. 238 and 260. 

— XXX. 2 : " The treasuries will be opened in which is pre- 

served the number of the souls of the righteous," cf. 
P.R.E. pp. 255 and 259. 

— xxxii. 4 : (The building of Zion) " must be renewed 

afterwards in glory, and it will be perfected for 
evermore," cf. P.R.E. p. 414. 

— xxxix. 7 : " The prmcipate of My Messiah will be re- 

vealed," cf. P.R.E. p. 83. 

— xlviii. 46 : " For Thou didst of old command the dust 

to produce Adam," cf. P.R.E. pp. 76 ff. 

— 1. 2 : " For the earth will then assuredly restore the 

dead, which it now receives, in order to preserve 
them, making no change in their form, but as it has 
received so will it restore them " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 258. 

— li. 3 : " Their splendour will be glorified in changes, and 

the form of their face will be turned into the light 
of their beauty," cf. P.R.E. p. 412. 

— H. 11 : "The living creatures which are beneath the 

throne," cf. P.R.E. pp. 23 f. 

— Ivii. 2 : "At that time (in the days of Abraham and 

Isaac) the unwritten law was named amongst them," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 223. 



INTRODUCTION xliii 

Baruch lix. 3 : " And those who were under the throne of 
the Mighty One were perturbed, when He was taking 
Moses unto Himself," cf. P.R.E. pp. 361 and 365. 

— Hx. 5-7 : " He showed to him . . . the suppression of 

anger and the multitude of long-suffering . . . 
wisdom . . , understanding . . . and knowledge," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 76 and 365 f. 

— lix. 10 : " The mouth of Gehenna," cf. P.R.E. pp. 29, 

71, and 432. 

— Ixiv. 8 : " When (Manasseh) was cast into the brazen 

horse," of. P.R.E. p. 340, note 1. 

— Ixxiii. 2 : " Then healing will descend in dew," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 260. 

— Ixxv. 4 : " Who is able to recount the thoughts of Thy 

mind ? " cf. P.R.E. p. 9. 

The Book of Wisdofn, and P.R.E. 

Book of Wisdom i. 13 : "Nor hath (God) pleasure in the 
destruction of them that live," cf. P.R.E. p. 104. 

— ii. 13 : (Having) " knowledge of God, and calleth himself 

the Lord's child," cf. P.R.E. p. 161. 

— ii. 18 and cf. v. 5 : " For if the righteous be God's son," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 161. 

— ii. 22 : " Yea, they know not the mysteries of God," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 9. 

— ii. 24 : " But through the Devil's envy came death into 

the world," cf. P.R.E. p. 100. 

— iii. 7, 8 : " And in the day of their inspection they shall 

shine forth . . . and their Lord shall be King for 
ever," cf. P.R.E. pp. 83 and 260. 

— iv. 4 : " For even if in their shoots they blossom for a 

season, standing unstably they shall be shaken by 
the wind, and be rooted out by the violence of the 
winds," cf. P.R.E. p. 132. 

— V. 15 : " But the righteous live for ever," cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 104 and 260. 

— vii. 18, 19 : " The turn of the solstices and the changes 

of seasons, the cycles of years and the positions of 
the stars," cf. P.R.E. p. 52. 

— ix. 2 : " And through Thy wisdom didst form man to 



xliv INTRODUCTION 

have rule over the creatures made by Thee," of. 
P.B.E. p. 79. 
Book of Wisdom ix. 6 : " For though one be perfect among 
the sons of men, if the wisdom from Thee be lacking, 
he shall be accounted for naught," cf. P.R.E. p. 129. 

— ix. 8 : " The holy Tabernacle which Thou preparedst 

from the beginning," cf. P.R.E. p. 12. 

— ix. 9, 10 : " And with Thee is wisdom that knoweth Thy 

works, and was present when Thou madest the 
world. . . . Send her forth out of the holy heavens. 
And despatch her from the throne of Thy glory," cf. 
P.R.E. p. 12. 

— X. 1, 2 : " She it was that protected the first formed 

father of the world throughout, created alone as he 
was, and rescued him from his own transgression, 
and gave him strength to rule over all things " ; cf. 
P.R.E. pp. 79 and 127. 

— X. 4 : " Through whom (Cain's descendants) when the 

earth was drowned," cf, P.R.E. p. 162, and cf. 
Josephus, Ant. i. 2. 2. 

— X. 5 : " She also, when the nations were confounded in a 

conspiracy of wickedness, found the just man and 
preserved him blameless unto God, yea, and kept him 
firm against pity for a son " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 176 and 
224, and Jerome, Quaest. Heb. in Gen., quoted by 
Deane in loc. 

— X. 7 : " And plants that bear fruit of bloom that never 

ripeneth ; a pillar of salt standing as a memorial of an 
unbelieving soul," cf. P.R.E. p. 186. 

— X. 10 : Wisdom guided " in straight paths " ; and showed 

" to him (Jacob) God's kingdom and gave him 
knowledge of holy things " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 265. 

— X. 12 : " She preserved him throughout from enemies, 

and made him safe from licrs in wait, yea, and a 
sore conflict she decided for him " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 309 f. 

— X. 13, 14 : " She deserted not a righteous one that was 

sold, but delivered him from sin . . . until she brought 
him the sceptre of a kingdom," cf. P.R.E. p. 305. 

— X. 19 : " But their enemies did she drown, and cast 

them up out of the depths of the abyss," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 332. 



INTRODUCTION xlv 

Book of Wisdom xi. 16 : " That they might know that by 
what things a man sinneth, thereby he is punished," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 332. 

— xi. 23 : " Thou hast mercy on all because Thou hast 

power over all, and dost overlook the faults of men 
in order to their repentance," cf. P.R.E. p. 76. 

— xi. 24 : " Thou cherishest all things that are and ab- 

horrest nothing which Thou madest, for Thou never 
wouldst have formed anything in hatred thereof," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 76. 

— xii. 10 : " But executing judgment upon them by little 

and little Thou gavest them a place of repentance," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 10. 

— xii. 19 : " And madest Thy sons to be of good hope 

that Thou grantest for sins repentance," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 10. 

— xiv. 6 : " For in the beginning also, when the haughty 

giants perished," cf. P.R.E. p. 161. 

— xiv. 15 : " For a father afflicted with untimely grief, 

having made an image of a child quickl}^ reft away, 
now honoured as a god him which was then a dead 
human being, and enjoined on his dependants 
mysteries and initiations " ; of. P.R.E. pp. 273 f. 

— xvi. 7 (and cf. ibid. 12) : " For he that turned towards 

it was not saved by that which was beheld, but 
through Thee, the preserver of all," cf. P.R.E. p. 437. 

— xviii. 6 : " That night was known beforehand to our 

fathers, that knowing surely on what oaths they 
trusted they might be cheered," cf. P.R.E. p. 195. 

— xviii. 16 : (The Logos) " bearing as a sharp sword Thine 

irrevocable commandment," cf. P.R.E. p. 367. 

— xviii. 22 : " And he (Aaron) overcame the wrath . . . 

but by word he subdued the chastiser, appealing to 
the oaths and covenants of the fathers," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 357 f. 

— xviii. 25 : " To these the destroyer yielded," cf. P.R.E., 

loc. cit. 

— xix. 8 : Cf. P.R.E. p. 330, note 7. 



xlvi INTRODUCTION 

The Book of Adam and Eve, and P.R.E. 

" The Book of Adam and Eve," also called the " Conflict 
of Adam and Eve \vith Satan," offers many passages which 
seem to recall phrases and thoughts in our book. The 
quotations given refer to the edition of Malan. 
Book of Adam and Eve i. i. : " Water that encompasses the 

world and reaches unto the borders of heaven," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 16, 39. 

— I. i. : " To dwell there in a cave," cf. P.R.E. p. 148. 

— I. iv. and i. xxiii. : " When Adam looked at his flesh that 

was altered," cf. P.R.E. pp. 98, 147. 

— I. v., xi., and xii. : " From light into this darkness," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 144. 

— I. V. : " Thou art (He) who made us both in one day," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 78. 

— I. vi. : " If only you had not transgressed My command- 

ment and had kept My law " (in the Garden), cf. 
P.R.E. p. 85. 

— I. vi. : " The wicked Satan who continued not in his 

first estate ... so that I hurled him down from 
heaven," cf. P.R.E. pp. 99, 193. 

— I. vii. : " Thou madest them all {i.e. the beasts) subject 

to me," cf. P.R.E. p. 79. 

— I. vii. : " The beasts did obeisance to Adam," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 79. 

— I. X. : " While thou wast under My command and wast 

a bright angel," cf. P.R.E. pp. 85, 98. 

— I. xiii. : The first dark night is described, cf. P.R.E. 

p. 144. 

— I. xiii. : " Thou didst not keep one day My command- 

ment," cf. P.R.E. p. 125. 

— I. xvii. : " Wriggling on its breast on the ground by 

reason of the curse that fell upon it from God," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 99. 

— I. xvii. : " Aforetime the serpent was the most exalted 

of all beasts," cf. P.R.E. p. 92. 

— I. xxii. : " We did transgress Thy commandment, and 

forsook Thy law, and sought to become gods like 
unto Thee when Satan the enemy deceived us " ; 
cf. P.R.E. p. 94. 



INTRODUCTION xlvii 

Book of Adam and Eve i. xxiii. : " Adam and Eve . . . offered 
upon the altar as an offering unto God," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 171, note 8. 

— I. xxiv. : " God accepted their offering and showed them 

mercy," cf. P.R.E. p. 147. 

— I. XXV. : " And thereby it will be made known that Thou 

art a merciful God," cf. P.R.E. p. 147. 

— I. xxvii. ; " And he shed light into the cave," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 144. 

— I. xxvii. : " Angels filled with light and sent ... to 

keep us," cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— I. xxvii. : " Satan was hidden in the serpent," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 93. 

— I. xxix. ; God sends Michael to fetch golden rods to be 

with Adam in the cave, and to " shine forth with light 
in the night around him and put an end to his fear 
of the darkness," cf. P.R.E. p. 144. 

— I. XXX. : " Gabriel fetches for Adam from Paradise 

sweet-smelling incense," cf. P.R.E. p, 146, note 7. 

— I. xxxi. : Cave of Treasures, (so called) by reason of the 

bodies of righteous men that were in it, ct P.R.E. p. 148. 

— I. xxxii. : "On the eighth day . . . Eve went down into 

the water . . . Adam also went down into the 
water," cf. P.R.E. p. 147. 

— I. xxxiii. : " They fasted in the water," cf. P.R.E., 

loc. cit. 

— I. xxxiv. : " Their bodies were lean," cf. P.R.E. p. 147. 

— I. xxxiv. : " Thou . . . didst create me out of . . . dust 

. . . and didst bring me into the garden at the 
third hour, on a Friday," cf. P.R.E. pp. 78 f., 84, 128. 

— I. xxxvii. : " We transgressed Thy commandment at 

the sixth hour of Friday, we were stripped of the 
bright nature we had, and did not continue in the 
garden after our transgression, more than three 
hours. On the evening Thou madest us come out 
of it " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 94, 98, 125. 

— I. xxxviii. : " Thy righteous seed," cf. P.R.E. p. 336. 

— I. xliv. : " See this fire of which we have a portion in us," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 20, 88. 

— I. xlviii. : " Satan called to his hosts . . . and said to 

them, ' Ye know that this Adam, whom God 



xlviii INTRODUCTION 

created out of the dust, is he who has taken our 
kingdom. Come, let us gather together and kill him ' " ; 
cf. P.B.E. pp. 91 f. 
Book of Adam and Eve i. xlviii. : " Spread over us like a 
tent," cf. P.E.E. p. 16. 

— I. 11. : " And bound (Satan) by the side of those skins 

until Adam and Eve came near," cf. P.B.E. p. 99. 

— I. li. and cf. Ivii. : " This is (Satan) who was hidden in the 

serpent, and who deceived you, and stripped you of 
the garment of light and glory in which you were. 
This is he who promised you majesty and divinity " ; 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 93 f., 98. 

— I. Iv. : " You (angels) do not serve me as you were wont," 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 89, 125. 

— I. I v. : " (Satan) gathered together his hosts, and made 

war with us (angels). And if it had not been for 
God's strength that was with us, we could not have 
prevailed against him to hurl him down from heaven " ; 
cf. P.E.E. pp. 193 f. 

— I. Ivi. : " A day of rest as I gave thee," cf. P.R.E. pp. 125 f. 

— I. Ivi. : " And God commanded His angels to escort 

Adam (and Eve) to the cave with joy. . . . And the 
angels took up Adam and Eve and brought them . . . 
with songs and psalms until they brought them to 
the cave " ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 89 f. 

— I. lix. : " See (Satan) is lord and master of all thou 

(Adam) hast," cf. P.R.E. p. 93. 

— I. Ix. : Apparition of Satan as an old man described, 

cf. P.R.E. p. 234. 

— I. Ixii., Ixix., Ixxii. : " But Satan, the wicked, was envi- 

ous," cf. P.R.E. p. 91. 

— I. Ixii. : " Then Satan went away ashamed of not having 

wrought out his design," cf. P.R.E. p. 233. 

— I. Ixvii. (and cf. Ixxii.) : (Adam and Eve) " may, perhaps, 

deny God, and He (will) destroy them. So shall we 
be rid of them " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 91. 

— I. Ixviii. (i. Ixxv. and it. xviii.) : " They offered ... on 

the altar they had built at first," cf. P.R.E. p. 227, 
note 2. 

— I. Ixxiii. and ii. iii. : Angels arrange the wedding of 

Adam and Eve; "the wedding" cf. P.R.E. pp. 89 f. 



INTRODUCTION xlix 

Book of Adam and Eve i. Ixxiv. : (Eve) " brought forth her 
first-born son, and with him a daughter," of. P.R.E. 
p. 152. 

— I. Ixxv. : (Eve) " brought forth another son and daughter," 

cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. and p. 154. 

— I. Ixxv. : " After the birth of these, Eve ceased from 

child-bearing," cf. P.R.E. p. 152, note 11. 

— I. Ixxv. : " Cain, moved by Satan to kill Abel on account 

of the twin-sister of the former," cf. P.R.E. p. 154. 

— I. Ixxix. : " Cain took a large stone, and smote his brother 

with it upon the head," cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— I. Ixxix. : " The earth, when the blood of . . . Abel fell 

upon it, trembled," cf. P.R.E. pp. 155 f. 

— I. Ixxix. : " Cain began at once to dig the earth (wherein 

to lay) his brother ... he ... cast his brother into 
the pit (he made) . . . but the earth would not receive 
him ; but it threw him up at once " ; cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— I. Ixxix. : " God (said) to Cain, 'Where is thy brother? ' 

... in mercy ... to try and make him repent," cf. 
P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— II. i. : (Adam and Eve) " foimd (Abel) lying on the earth, 

and beasts around him," cf. P.R.E. p. 156. 

— II. i. : " Adam . . . laid him in the Cave of Treasures," 

cf. P.R.E., loc. cit. 

— II. i. : " They placed a lamp (in the Cave of Treasures) to 

burn, by night and by day, before the body of Abel," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 275. 

— II. viii. and ii. xxi. : Adam directs his body to be placed 

in the Cave of Treasures, and finally to be buried in 
the middle of the earth, cf. P.R.E. pp. 78, 148, 266. 

— II. viii. and ii. x., xi. : Seth's children are to be kept 

apart from those of Cain, cf. P.R.E. pp. 158 f. 

— II. ix. : Adam came out of the garden on Friday at the 

ninth hour, cf. P.R.E. p. 125. 

— II. ix. : Adam's body was in the cave and " in front of him 

a lamp-stand (was) kept burning," cf. P.R.E. p. 275. 

— II. ix. : " The altar upon which Adam offered," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 227, note 2. 

— II. xi., III. iv. : The children of Seth are named " children 

of God " or " angels of God," by reason of their 

purity; cf. P.R.E. pp. 158 f., 161. 

d 



1 INTRODUCTION 

Book of Adam and Eve ii. xvii. : " The land, north of the 
garden, which God created before the world," cf. 
P.R.E. p. 11. 

— II. xvii. : " The chosen garments," cf. P.R.E. pp. 175, 178. 

— II. xviii. : " The fathers themselves were praying for his 

deliverance," cf. P.R.E. pp. 310 f., 432 f. 

— II. XX. deals with the immorality of the children of Cain, 

cf. P.R.E. pp. 159 f. 

— II. XX. : Genun misleads the children of Seth, cf. P.R.E. 

p. 377. 

— II. XX. : " And when they looked at the daughters of Cain, 

at their beautiful figiu'e and at their hands and feet 
dyed with colour, and tattooed in ornaments on their 
faces, the fire of sin was kindled in them," . . . and 
they committed abominations ; cf. P.R.E. pp. 159 f. 

— III. ii. : (Noah) builds the ark in the presence of the 

children of Cain, that " they may see thee working at 
it ; and if they will not repent, they shall perish," 
cf. P.R.E. pp. 161, 165. 

— III. ii. : " The first storey shall be for lions, and beasts, 

animals and ostriches all together. The second 
storey shall be for birds and creeping things. 

" And the third storey shall be for thee and thy 
wife, and for thy sons and their wi\'es. 

" And make in the ark wells for water, and open- 
ings to them . . . and thou shall line these wells 
with lead " ; cf. P.R.E. p. 165. 

— III. V. : God made Adam king over His works, cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 79 f. 

— III. V. : " To watch over the body of our father Adam, 

for it is a body of great value before God," cf. P.R.E. 
p. 148. 

— III. vii. (viii. and xi.) : " Thy wife, and the wives of thy 

sons, shall be on the western side of the ark ; and 
they and their wives shall not come together " ; cf. 
P.R.E. p. 169. 

— III. viii. : " All the animals shall be gathered unto thee," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 166. 

— III. ix. : " An angel of God sat upon the ark," cf. P.R.E. 

p. 167. 

— III. xi. : When the flood was over, they (men and women 



INTRODUCTION li 

in the ark) " came together, the husband with his 
wife," cf. P.R.E. p. 169. 
Book of Adam and Eve iii. xiii. : " Noah took a root of vine 
and planted it, and dressed it until it yielded fruit," 
cf. P.R.E. p. 170. 

— III. xiv. : Noah divides the earth among (his sons), cf. 

P.R.E. pp. 172 f. 

— III. xvii. : " The house full of light," cf. P.R.E. pp. 166 f. 

— III. xvii. : " And (lest) they hang on to the body of 

Adam," cf. P.R.E. p. 148. 

— III. xxiii. : " One of the first kings that ever reigned on 

the earth, whose name was Nimrud, a giant," cf. 
P.R.E. p. 80. 

— III. xxiv. : " Satan entered into the idol of gold," cf. 

P.R.E. p. 355. 

— III. xxv. : Nimrod sacrifices victims to the fire, cf. P.R.E. 

pp. 188, 420. 

— IV. ii. : (Pharaoh) " gave to Sarah, Hagar the Egyptian," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 190. 

— IV. ii. refers to Ishmael as being thirteen years older than 

Isaac, cf. P.R.E. p. 217, note 3. 

— IV. ii. states that Isaac was fourteen years old when put 

on the altar, cf. P.R.E. p. 225. 

— IV. iii. : " Jerusalem that means the middle of the earth," 

cf. P.R.E. p. 266. 

— IV. V. : " And this Naasson was great among the sons of 

Judah," cf. P.R.E. p. 331, note 1. 

— IV. ix. : Lion-proselytes and Samar[itans], cf. P.R.E. p. 299. 

— IV. xi. : " The fire ... is the Divine fire that was all the 

time in the house of God," cf. P.R.E. p. 429. 

Dr. Ginzberg's article on the Book of Adam and Eve in 
the first volume of the Jezvish Encyclopedia should be read, 
and the notes on the Books of Adam and Eve in A. and P. ii. 
might be consulted. Many of the references to similar 
phrases and ideas given in this Introduction are not repeated 
in the notes to P.R.E. 

The Apocalypse of Abraham (see P.R.E. pp. 70, 76) should 
also be read as a side-light to our book. Thus, the interpre- 
tation of " Ur of the Chaldees " as the fire of the Chaldees 
is common to both. The attempt of Azazel to disturb 



Hi INTRODUCTION 

Abraham when offering his sacrifice to God is somewhat 
similar to the attempt of Sammael to hinder Abraham's 
sacrifice of the ram instead of Isaac. The " unclean bird " 
which swoops down upon the carcasses, as well as " the 
vision " of Abraham between the pieces, beholding the 
world in its future career, reappear in our book. Both 
writings refer to the Divine throne and the Cherubim as 
well as to the revelation of the secrets of the deep (Leviathan). 
Sammael (or Azazel) had twelve wings according to our 
book and the Apocalypse. Dr. Ginzberg, in his interesting 
article on the Apocalypse in the J.E. i. 92, refers to Chapters 
IX., XIII., XX., XXL, and XXVIII. of the Pirke de Rabbi 
Eliezer. 

For parallel or similar expressions and teaching in — 

(a) 4 Ezra, see pp. 11, 60, 63, 70, 87, 136, 198, 202, 

257 ff., 260, 350, and 357. 

(b) Ascension of Isaiah, see pp. 17, 21, 92, and 24.5. 

(c) Assumption of Moses, see pp. 11, 63, 194, 266, 339, 

344, 357, 393, and 412. 

We have by no means exhausted the material in the 
foregoing paragraphs. Such books as Schatzhohle, Kehra 
Nagast, and the Book of the Bee, not to mention the Koran 
and its famous commentaries, contain much material in 
common Avith our " Chapters." Philo and Ecclesiasticus also 
offer several interesting parallels. 

It is not by any means definitely established that our 
author actually copied any of the afore-mentioned books. 
^Yhat is maintained, however, is the existence of some 
sort of literary connection between P.R.E. and these books. 
This may be explained by the existence of compositions 
based on the Pseudepigrapha or used by the authors of 
this class of literature. The link is missing and it would 
be extremely hazardous to do more than point out the 
existence of similar ideas and occasionally actual parallel 
phrases. It must not be forgotten that many of the ideas 
common to the Midrashim and the Pseudepigrapha were, 
so to say, common property, floating traditions which were 
recorded not only in Enoch or Jubilees, but also in the 
Books of Adam and Eve, and later in our book, and later 
still in such compositions as the Book of the Bee. 

One lesson seems to be driven home from our study, 



INTRODUCTION liii 

and that is the impossibih'ty of propeilji^ understanding the 
Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic wiitings Avithont the 
assistance of the teaching of Rabbinic:^. • So abo vice versa, 
we must ilhistrate Rabbinical literature by the teaching of 
the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. 

§ 6. P.R.E. AND Patristic Literature 

Ginzberg, Goldfahn, Graetz, Kohler, Rahraer, and others 
have discussed various aspects of Patristic literature in 
connection with Midrashic teaching. This field of inquiry 
is by no means exhausted. Very many interesting parallels 
to some of the teaching in our " Chapters " are to be 
found in the writings of the Church Fathers. It would be 
advantageous to read the Patristic literature in the light 
of Midrashic exegesis and interpretation and vice versa. 
One or two instances will explain this standpoint. 

The Statutes of the Apostles (ed. Horner), § 70, p. 215, 
direct that " seven days should be kept for a memorial of 
the living and the dead." This rule will be appreciated 
if compared with the Jewish institution of the " seven days 
of mourning " (see P.R.E. p. 115), Again, the 48th statute 
directs prayers to be said five times daily {op. cit. pp. 182 f.). 
This rule should be illustrated by the Rabbinic custom of 
praying thrice daily (see P.R.E. p. 110). 

Vorstius and manv scholars after him have not dis- 
guised their profound contempt for the legends contained 
in our " Chapters " and in other Midrashic writings. This 
attitude must give place to a more sympathetic understand- 
ing of the fact that Midrash exists not only in the works of 
the Rabbis but also in the New Testament and in Patristic 
literature. Many legends preserved in our " Chapters " are 
also to be found in the interesting volumes of the " Ante- 
Nicene Christian Library." Many of these parallels are 
mentioned in the notes to our " Chapters." 

§ 7. Date and Origin of P.R.E. 

A few historical and literary clues, disclosed by a careful 
study of our book, enable us to fix the date of its final 
redaction, This is probably either the second or the third 



liv IMTRODUCTTON 

decade of tlie nirvth century. This late date does not, 
however, indicate |:'iat most of the material at the disposal 
of the redaptor dJi. not belong to a much earlier period. 
We have already m^itioned 776 c.e. in connection with 
the BaraiUid de R. Sh'muel, and if this treatise proved to be 
an independent work, which has been partially incorporated 
into our book, we can safely assert that the three astro- 
nomical chapters belong to a date at least half a century 
prior to the final redaction of the book. The Creation 
legends, which go back to the Books of Enoch and Jubilees 
as well as to the Books of Adam and Eve, contain material 
which is earlier than the first century c.e. Again, the legends 
dealing with the Flood have elements in common with 
traditions pi'cserved by Hippolytus, whose activity was in 
the first decades of the third century (c. 200-236). Jean 
Gagnier, who was at Oxford in the eighteenth century, 
drew attention to a parallel in Hippolytus to P.R.E., duly 
noted by Fabricius in his stately edition of the writings 
of the Church Father. 

Scholars are by no means agreed as to the locality 

whence P.R.E. emanated. The latest opinion is that of Dr. 

Samuel Krauss, who refers to it as a Byzantine production, 

see Studien zur Byzantinisch-Judischen Geschichte (1914), 

pp. 145 f. M. Griinbaum in his learned book, Neue Beitrdge 

zur Semitischen Sagenkunde (1893), inclines to the view that 

P.R.E. was written in an Arabian atmosphere. There are 

clear indications of contact with Mohammedan material 

(cf, P.R.E. XXX.), the names Fatimah (p. 219) and 'Ayeshah 

(p. 218) as wives of Ishmael occur and betray Islamic 

influence. In Chapter XXX. (pp. 221 f.) two brothers who 

are reigning simultaneously are indicated ; Graetz has long 

ago pointed to this passage as referring to the two sons of 

Harun al-Rashid, Alemin and Elmamum, who ruled in the 

early years of the ninth century. Miiller has drawn attention 

to the Minhagim or religious customs which are peculiar to 

our book, and as a result of his investigation he is of opinion 

that P.R.E. is a Palestinian production. There are many 

subsidiary points which seem to support this view. The 

fact already mentioned, that the direct quotations from 

the Talmud are only from the Palestinian recension ; 

and the use made of another Palestinian work, Genesis 



INTRODUCTION Iv 

Rabbah, seem to support a Palestinian origin. There are 
striking references to the Holy Land, its privileges and 
superiority, which point to a Palestinian authorship. 
On the other hand, there are reasons for regarding Babylon 
as the home of P.R.E. Dr. Biichler's studies dealing with 
the ban, which will be quoted in the notes (pp. 301 f.), 
seem to point to Babylon as the source whence our 
book came. Other lines of inquiry, e.g. the punishment 
inflicted on a woman guilty of immorality (see p. 100), 
point in the same direction. It is extremely difficult to 
decide in a question of this kind, especially when eminent 
authorities hold such divergent views. It is right to point 
out that the views of Graetz referred to on pp. 221 f. have 
been refuted by Steinschneider (see note on p. 222). 
Likewise his theory {Geschichte, v. p. 446) that our book in 
Chapter XXX. is indebted to the Secrets of R. Simeon 
ben Jochai in connection with the misrule of the Ishmaelites, 
has been controverted by Horowitz, Beth 'Eked Ha-Hagadoth, 
p. 24. Both, however, agree that the date of the composi- 
tion of our book is about 750 c.e. 



§ 8. Polemical Tendency in P.R.E. 

Apparently there is no direct reference to Christianity. 
On the other hand, there are several allusions to Islam as 
the " Fourth Kingdom " destined to persecute the Chosen 
People prior to the dawn of the Messianic Kingdom. There 
are also several echoes from the old controversies which 
the ancient teachers in Israel waged against the Gnostics 
(cf. pp. 17, 79 f.). One of the set purposes of part of the 
work is to combat certain teachings contained in some 
of the Pseudepigrapha, especially in the Book of Jubilees. 
It is noteworthy that the Cairo Geni?ah has restored to us 
Aramaic fragments based on the Book of Jubilees and also 
on the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs. The Zohar refers 
to a book of Enoch (Lev. 10a) which seems to have been in 
Aramaic. We believe we have established the fact that 
there is close connection between our " Chapters " and the 
afore-mentioned pseudepigraphic books. 

Our author lays great stress on the doctrine of the 
resurrection of the body (cf. pp. 228, 249 f.). This may be 



Ivi INTRODUCTION 

directed against the teaching set forth in many of the 
pseudcpigraphic and apocryphal books, which deny the 
physical resiuTcction. 

On page 254 he opposes, as the Talmud, the destruction 
of fruit-bearing trees (see Krauss in n^^'C'n, 1908, xix. 28 ff. ; 
and T.A. ii. p. 205). 

There may be a polemical interest in the description of 
the Teraphim (pp. 273 f.), possibly the worship of relics is 
attacked here. The belief in the possibility of the Deity 
having physical offspring (see p. 85, note 10) is opposed. 
Celibacy (p. 89, note 2) seems to be regarded with 
disfavour, and possibly divorce (see p. 219) is likewise dis- 
approved. 

§ 9. Theology of P.R.E. 

The note struck in the first two chapters, proclaiming 
the supreme value of the Torah, the Law of God, is in 
harmony with the teaching in the rest of the book. The 
Law belongs to the premundane creation (p. 11), it was 
with God at the Creation (p. 12), even consulted by the 
Divine Architect when lie was planning the Universe 
(ibid.) and creating man (p. 76). The Torah had its home 
in heaven and was entrusted to Israel because the other 
nations refused to accept its teaching (p. 319). Some of the 
precepts of the Torah were kept in heaven by God and 
the Angels (pp. 137 f.), and also by Adam and the patriarchs 
(pp. 126, 143, 204) prior to the revelation on Sinai. 

The love or goodness of God impelled Him to the creation 
of man (p. 76). The belief in original sin is not coimtenanced 
(pp. 158 f.). Moral evil was brought into the world by 
Sammael (p. 158) and the offspring of the fallen angels 
(pp. 160 f.). The angelology in our book is interesting on 
account of its connection with the Pseudepigrapha. Michael, 
Sammael (with whom Azazel is identified), demons and 
merciful angels, the fall of the angels. Cherubim, Chajjoth, 
Seraphim, and the heavenly host, are all dealt with. The 
Index will enable the reader to find our author's views on 
this theme. 

The ethical tone is excellently expressed in the chapter 
on the Two Ways (pp. 102 f.). The duty of loving service is 
set forth in two chapters (pp. 106 ff.) and in many passages 



INTRODUCTION Ivii 

throughout the book. The sacredness of human Hfe (pp. 
176, 386) is emphasized. The day of judgment and retri- 
bution is not forgotten (p. 416), The vakie of repentance 
is dealt with in a special chapter (pp. 337 ff.). There are 
chapters devoted to eschatology (pp. 410 ff.) and the resur- 
rection (pp. 252 ff.). For references to God, Shekhinah, the 
Divine throne, Messiah, Leviathan and Behemoth, Gehenna 
and Paradise, the future world and death, the reader can 
consult the Index. 

The quotations from the O.T. are given according to 
the chapters and verses in the Revised Version. This 
translation has frequently been modified in order to express 
the Haggadic interpretation of our author. The quota- 
tions in the original are rarely given in full, but in order 
to understand the teaching in question the entire verse 
should be read. To facilitate reference the source of every 
Biblical quotation is given, a labour already done by 
Vorstius and Luria. The headings at the head of each 
chapter have been added by the present writer. Most 
of the printed editions contain a summary of the contents 
of each chapter. The method of transliteration adopted 
has not been uniformly followed, especially when a name 
is well known by reason of appearing in the Revised Version, 
e.g. Eliezer. The R.V. names have generally been retained. 
The letter n is represented by ch, D by t, 2 by kh, 3 by fe, 
p by k, T by 2, ^f by z, V by '. 



ABBREVIATIONS EMPLOYED 

IN NOTES 



A.T. =Altes Testament. 

A.N.C.L. = Ante-Nicene Christian 

Library. 
Apoc. = Apocalypse. 
A. and P. —Apocrypha and Pseudepi- 

grapha, ed. Charles (Oxford). 
A.R.W. =Archiv fiir Religionswis- 

senschaft. 
Bacher, T. =Bacher's Agada der 

Tannaiten. 
Bacher, Terminologie = Bacher's Die 

alteste Terminologie der judischen 

Schriftauslegung. 
B.H.M. = Beth Ha-Midrash. 
B.M. = British Museum. 
C,= column. 
C.E. = Common Era. 
Comm. = Commentary. 
C.W. = Cohn, Wendland. 
D.B. = Dictionary of the Bible, 
d. R.=de Rabbi, 
ed. =: edition, 
eds. = editions. 

Enc. Bib. = Encyclopedia Biblica. 
E.T.= English Translation. 
Eth. = Ethiopic. 
Geiger, Was hat Mohammed = 

Geiger's Was hat Mohammed 

aus dem Judentume aufgenom- 

men? 
Ginzberg, Die Haggada = Ginzberg's 

Die Haggada bei dem Kirchen- 

vatern. 
Grtinbaum, Beitrage = Griinbaum's 

Neue Beitrage zur Semitischen 

Sagenkunde. 
G.T. = German Translation. 



G.V. = Die Gottesdienstlichen Vor- 
trage. 

I. C. C. = International Critical Com- 
mentary. 

Jahrbucher = Jahrbucher fiir jiidische 
Geschichte. 

J. E.= Jewish Encyclopedia. 

J. Q.R. = Jewish Quarterly Re- 
view. 

Lazarus, Ethik = Lazarus' Die Ethik 
des Judentums. 

LXX = Septuagint Version. 

M. = Mangey. 

Monatsschrift — Monatsschrift fiir Ges- 
chichte und Wissenschaft des Ju- 
dentums. 

MS. = Manuscript. 

M.T. = Massoretic text. 

N. H.W.B. =Neuhebraisches Worter- 
buch. 

N.T. =New Testament. 

O.T.=01d Testament. 

p., pp. = page, pages. 

Pal. Targum = Palestinian Targum 
(Pseudo- Jonathan). 

Pesh. =Peshitta. 

P.R.E. =Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. 

R. = Rabbi or Rabban. 

Rab. =Rabbah. 

Real-Ency. s. = Real Encyclopadie 
Supplementband. 

R.E.J. = Revue des Etudes Juives. 

R. V. = Revised Version. 

Schechter, Aspects = Schechter's 
Aspects of Rabbinic Theology. 

Schiirer = Schurer's Geschichte des 
judischen Volkes. 



lix 



1 



X 



ABBREVIATIONS IN NOTES 



Singer = Authorized Daily Prayer 

Book. 
Slav, = Slavonic. 
T. = Testament. 
T.A. = Talmudische Archaologie 

(Krauss). 
Targ. =Targum. 
T. B. = Babylonian Talmud. 
T.D. =Targum Dictionary. 
Test. XII Pat. := Testaments of the 

Twelve Patriarchs. 



T.J.^Talmud of Jerusalem (Pales- 
tinian Talmud). 

Z.A.T.W. =Zeitschrift fur die A.T. 
Wissenschaft. 

Z.D.M.G. = Zeitschrift der Deutschen 
Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft. 

Z.f.N.T. Wissensch — Zeitschrift fiir 
die Neutestamentliche Wissen. 
schaft. 

Zur Gesch. =Zur Geschichte 
(Zunz). 



THE CHAPTERS OF 
RABBI ELIEZER THE GREAT ^ 

CHAPTER I 

RABBI ELIEZER AND THE TORAH " [1b. i.J 

The following befell Rabbi Eliezer, son of Hyrkanos. His 
father had many ploughmen ^ who were ploughing arable 
ground/ whereas he was ploughing a stony plot ; he sat 
down and wept. His father said to him : O my son ! Why 

1 Also called " Baraitha of Rabbi Eliezer " ; see supra, Introduction, 
and cf. Zunz, G.V., p. 283, Weiss, Dor Dor veDorshav, iii. p. 290, and 
Hamburger, Real-Ency. s. 11. i. pp. 162 ff., on the P.R.E. The first two 
chapters are probably a later addition to the Midrash contained in the 
rest oi the " Chapters." They form a very good introduction to this 
pseudepigraphic book, which was attributed to the famous teacher. 
Rabbi EUezer the Great. The third chapter opens with the name of 
Rabbi Eliezer. The MS. fragment of our book in the British Museum 
which Horowitz has edited in his Sarnmlung Kleiner Midraschim, i. 4 flf., 
begins with the third chapter. The same fact obtains in some of the 
fragments contained in the Bodleian Library. For the biography of 
Rabbi Eliezer ben Hj'rkanos see Bacher, T. i. pp. 96 fi., and/.£. v. 113 ff., 
where a bibhography is added. Our " Chapters " contain about twenty 
dicta attributed to R. EUezer; see Bacher, op. cit. pp. 122 f., who con- 
siders all these sayings as pseudepigraphic. The subject-matter of the 
first two chapters of our book is to be found in Aboth d. R. Nathan 
(a) vi., {b) xiii., Jalkut, Gen. §72, and Gen. Rab. xhi. (in the new 
edition of Theodor, cli. xh., where further parallels are given in the 
notes on p. 397). Various recensions of the first two chapters have 
been published by Horo%vitz, Beth 'Eked Ha-Hagadoth, pp. 7 fi. 
■- 2 The headings to the chapters have been added by the translator. 
The numbers in the square brackets after the headings indicate the 
pages and columns of the MS. 

3 Gen. Rab. xlii. i and Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit., read: " his brethren 
were ploughing in the plain, whereas he was ploughing on the mountain." 
The 1st and 2nd eds. omit the word " many." 

* Lit. " were ploughing upon the surface of the furrow." Cf. Ps, 
cxxix. 3 for the word " furrows." 



2 RABBI ELIEZER 

dost thou weep ? Art thou perchance distressed because 
thou dost plough a stony plot ? In the past thou hast 
ploughed a stony plot/ now behold thou shalt plough with 
us arable soil.- He sat down on the arable ground and 
wept. His father said to him : But why dost thou weep ? 
Art thou perchance distressed because thou art ploughing 
the arable land ? He replied to him : No. (Hyrkanos) 
said to him : Why dost thou weep ? He answered him : I 
weep only because I desire to learn Torah.^ (Hyrkanos) said 
to him : Verily thou art twenty-eight years old ^ — yet dost 
thou desire to learn Torah ? Nay, go, take thee a wife and 
beget sons and thou wilt take them to the school.'' He 
fasted two weeks ^ not tasting 1| anything, until Elijah ^ — 
may he be remembered for good ^ — appeared to him and 
said to him : Son of Hyrkanos ! Why dost thou weep ? 
He replied to him : Because I desire to learn Torah. (Elijah) 
said to him : If thou desirest to learn Torah get thee up to 
Jerusalem to Rabban Jochanan ben Zakkai.^ He arose and 
went up to Jerusalem to R. Jochanan ben Zakkai and sat 
down and wept. (R. Jochanan) said to him : Why dost 
thou weep ? He answered him : Because I wish to learn 

1 These words are omitted in the ist and 2nd eds. 

'^ This would be easier labour. At this point the MS. adds the 
second letter of the Hebrew alphabet to signify the beginning of the 
second paragraph. The ist and 2nd eds. omit " with us." 

^ Torah is not merely the written word of God, but also its oral 
interpretation. The term sums up all that is implied by Religion and 
Ethics. 

* Aboth d. R. Nathan (a) vi. reads " 22 years," and cf. ibid, (b) xiii. 

* Thy merit will be accounted as though thou didst study the 
Torah ; see T.B. Kiddushin, 30a, for this doctrine. The second 
paragraph in MS. ends here. 

* " He was distressed for three weeks " is the reading in Aboth d. 
R. Nathan (b) xiii. On " weeks" see Krauss, T.A. ii. pp. 422 f. ; and 
note 784. 

' On Elijah in Rabbinical literature see J.E. v. 122 ff. In our 
work the Elijah story and legends are treated at considerable length. 
In Christian books Elijah also appears ; see Mark ix. 4 ff . and Matt. xvii. 
II. In the Gospel of Barnabas (124a) Elijah rebukes a man for weeping. 
See also Coptic Apocrypha, ed. Budge, p. 265, for a further parallel. 
Elijah is the " comforter " in Jewish and Christian literature, and in 
this capacity he is the forerunner of the Messiah. 

* On this expression sec Zunz, Zur Gesch. pp. 321 ff. 

* The greatest teacher of his day, who preserved J udaism in spite of 
the overthrow of the Jewish State by the Romans, in the year 70 c.E. 
For his biography see Bacher, T. i. pp. 22 If., and J.E. vii. 214 ff. 
Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, iv. pp. ii ff., Schiirer, ii. 366 ff., and 
Schlatter's biography should be consulted. 



RABBI ELIEZER AND THE TORAH 3 

Torah. (R. Jochanan) said to him : Whose son art thou ? 
But he did not tell him. 

(R. Jochanan) asked him : Hast thou never learnt i to 
read the Shema,^ or the Tephillah,^ or the Grace after 
meals ? ^ He replied to him : No. He arose ^ and (R. 
Jochanan) taught him the three (prayers).*' (Again) he 
sat down and wept. (R. Jochanan) said to him : My son, 
why dost thou weep ? He replied : Because I desire to 
learn Torah.' He (thereupon) taught him two rules (of 
the Law) ^ every day of the week, and on the Sabbath ^ 
(Eliezer) repeated them and assimilated them.^*' He kept a 
fast for eight days without tasting anything until the odour 
of his mouth attracted the attention of R. Jochanan ben 
Zakkai, who directed him to withdraw from his presence. 
He sat down and wept. (R. Jochanan) said to him : My 
son, why dost thou weep ? He rejoined : Because thou 
didst make me withdraw from thy presence just as a man 
makes his fellow withdraw, when the latter is afflicted with 
leprosy. (R. Jochanan) said to him : My son, just as || the 
odour of thy mouth has ascended before me, so may the 
savour of the statutes of the Torah ascend from thy mouth 
to Heaven. 1^ He said to him : My son ! Whose son art thou ? 

1 Aboth d. R. Nathan {b) xiii. reads : " Didst thou never go to 
school ? " 

- The " Shema " is the Jewish confession of faith. It is set fortli 
in Deut. vi. 4-9, etc. ; see Singer, pp. 40 ff., and J.E. xi. 266. 

* The " Tephillah " or " Shemoneh 'Esreh," tlie Jewish prayer 
par excellence, is to be found in Singer, pp. 44 ff. ; see R.£,.J . xix. 
pp. 17 ff., and J.E. xi. 270 ff. Our " Chapters" deal with the subject- 
matter of the " Shemoneh 'Esreh " ; cf. Zunz, G. V., p. 285, and S. Sachs 
in " Ha-Techiyah," pp. 21 f. On the question as to the relation between 
Sirach and the " Shemoneh 'Esreh " see Oesterley's edition of 
Ecclesiasticus, pp. 232 and 349 f. 

* The Genizah Fragment has : " the reading of the Grace after 
meals." On Grace after meals see Singer, pp. 280 ff., and J .E. vi. 61 f. 

* The student stood whilst learning; see T.B. Megillah, 21a. The 
1st and 2nd eds. read : " He said. Stand, and I will teach thee the 
three (prayers)." 

* In the MS. the fourth paragraph begins here. 
' And not merely prayers. 

* " Halakhoth," i.e. laws to be observed by the Jews, based upon the 
Torah. Thus, according to Matt. xii. 1-8, Jesus discusses Halakhah. 
The final decisions become Halakhoth ; cf. Mark vii. 5 and Luke xi. 
40 f. See Bacher, Terminologie, i. s.v. n^hn, pp. 42 f. 

" The first two editions omit " on the Sabbath." 
1° In the MS. this is the end of the fourth paragraph. 
"In Aboth d. R. Nathan (b) xiii. the reading is: " So may the 
teaching of thy mouth go forth from one end of the world to the other." 



4 RABBI ELTEZER 

He replied : I am the son of Hyrkanos. Then said (R. 
Jochanan) : Art thou not the son of one of the great men 
of the world, ^ and thou didst not tell me ? By thy life ! 
he continued, This day shalt thou eat with me.- (Eliezer) 
answered : I have eaten already with my host.^ (R. Jochanan) 
asked : Who is thy host ? He replied : R. Joshua ben Chan- 
anjah^ and R. Jose the Priest.^ 

(R. Jochanan) sent to inquire of his hosts, saying to 
them : Did Eliezer eat with you this day ? They answered : 
No ; moreover has he not fasted eight days without tasting 
any food ? '• R. Joshua ben Chananjah and R. Jose the 
Priest ' went and said ^ to R. Jochanan ben Zakkai : Verily 
during the last eight days (Eliezer) has not partaken of any 
food.^ 

1 Hyrkanos was a very wealthy man. 

2 In MS. the sixth paragraph begins here. 

^ Akhsania i^evia), hospitality, lodging, host. According to Aboth 
d. R. Natlian (a) vi., Eliezer was silent when R. Jochanan asked him 
whether he had partaken of food. 

* See Bachcr, T. i. pp. 123 ff., and J.E. vii. 290 ff. 

* See Bachcr. T. i. pp. 67 ff., and J.E. vii. 243 ff. 

* Here begins the seventh paragraph in the MS. The Genizah 
Fragment continues : " Moreover." 

' Aboth d. R. Nathan (b) xiii. adds : " R. Simeon ben Nathaniel." 
' Some of the old printed editions read here : " Has he not been 
without food for the last eight days ? " Luria, in loc, thinks that the 
last clause was spoken by R. Jochanan to the Rabbis who visited him, 
telling them that Eliezer had not eaten at his table. Aboth d. R. 
Nathan (Inc. cit.) refers to R. Jochanan's grief at this neglect, which 
might have cost Eli^zer's life. 

* The Genizah Fragment adds : " And he compelled him to eat 
and to drink, and on the morrow " (also). 



CHAPTER II 

R. ELIEZER AND HIS BRETHREN [2a. i.] 

The sons of Hyrkanos said to their father: Get thee rip 
to Jerusalem and vow that thy son Eliezer should not enjoy 
any of thy possessions.^ He went up to Jerusalem to 
disinherit him, and it happened that a festival was being 
celebrated there by R. Jochanan ben Zakkai. All the 
magnates of the district were dining with him ; (such as) 
Ben Zizith Hakkeseth,- Nicodemus ben Gorion,^ and Ben 
Kalba S'bu a.^ 1| 

Why was his name called Ben Zizith Hakkeseth ? Be- 
cause he reclined at table in a higher position than the other 
magnates of Jerusalem.^ Concerning Nicodemus ben Gorion, 
people said that he had (stored) provisions containing 3 S'ah ^ 
of fine flour for every inhabitant of Jerusalem. When the 

1 Lit. " and ban thy son Eliezer from thy possessions." The 
Genizah Fragment reads: "to put him in the ban." The brothers 
claimed that Eliezer should be disinherited because he had left his old 
father without permission. For a parallel text see Gen. Rab. xlii. 
(ed. Theodor, p. 398), Aboth d. R. Nathan (a) vi. Was it the custom to 
resort to the Synhedrion in order to disinherit one's son ? 

2 See Lam. Rab. i. 5 (31), Eccles. Rab. to Eccles. vii. 11, and T.B. 
Gittin, 56a. According to the Talmud (loc. cit.) the name Ben Zizith 
Hakkeseth was due to his intercourse {Rise, i.e. seat) with the great 
men of Rome. 

^ See J .E. ix. 300, where the reference to T.B. Ta'anith should be 
emended to 20a. 

* Ben Kalba S'bu a, this name is the result of a pun. According to 
T.B. Gittin, loc. cit., anyone who came to him even as hungry as a dog 
{keleb) was dismissed fully satisfied {sat) a). 

^ T.B. Gittin, loc. cit., gives another explanation of this name, due to 
the tradition that the fringes {Zizith) of the man's garments were 
hanging over the cushions of his seat. The ' Arukh (ed. Kohut, vii. 40a, 
s.v.) appears to have had a text of our passage in accordance with the 
Talmudic reading, but unlike our text. 

* S'ah, a dry measure, the size of which is held to equal 12-148 litres 
or io'696 qts. The Genizah Fragment reads " three years " instead 
of " three S'ah." 



6 RABBT ELIRZER 

zealots ' arose and burnt all the storehouses, they measured 
and found that he had had provisions for three years for every 
inhabitant in Jerusalem. ^ Concerning Ben Kalba S'bu'a 
it was told that he had a house measuring 4 Kors ^ with 
roofs covered with gold. ' The people said (to R. Jochanan) : 
Behold, the father of R. Eliezer has arrived. He bade them 
saying : Prepare a place for him, and seat him next to us.^ 
(R. Jochanan) fixed his gaze ® on R. Eliezer, saying to him,' 
Tell us some words ^ of the Torah. (R. Eliezer) answered 
him saying : Rabbi ! ^ I will tell thee a parable. To what is 
the matter like ? To this well which cannot yield more 
water than the amount which it has drawn (from the 
earth) ; likewise am I unable to speak words of the Torah 
in excess of what I have received from thee.^" 

(R. Jochanan) said to him, I will (also) tell thee a parable. 
To what is the matter like ? To this fountain which is 
bubbling and sending forth its water, and it is able to effect 
a discharge more powerful || than what it secretes ; in like 
manner art thou able to speak words of the Torah in excess of 
what Moses ^^ received at Sinai. (R. Jochanan) continued : 
Lest thou shouldst feel ashamed on my account, behold I 

* On the Zealots or Sicarii see Josephus, Wars, iw 3. q ff. 

* This passage is missing in the printed editions, but it occurs in the 
Genizah Fragment. 

^ The Kor is assumed by Gesenius (Oxford ed. p. 499) to be the 
same as the Chomer, which was thirty times the S'ah. On these measures 
see Enc. Bib. iv. 5294 ff. 

* The first printed editions read : " gardens crushed with gold." Luria 
reads : " he had a palace with an area covering 4 Kors, all the beams 
were overlaid with gold." He thinks that the text should read : " he 
had a palace covering 4 Kors with treasuries containing gold." The 
MS. seems to have preserved the true reading, which is also the reading 
in the Genizah Fragment. 



*e>' 



* The 1st and 2nd eds. read : " They prepared a place for him and 
seated him next to him " (i.e. R. Jochanan). The Genizah Fragment 
reads: " and seat him next to yourselves ; they prepared a place for 
him and placed him next to him " (R. Jochanan). In the MS. the 
first paragraph ends here. 

'For this expression see T.B. Synhedrin, iia: "the sages fixed 
their gaze upon Hillel the Elder." 

' The Genizah Fragment adds : " O my son ! " 

* Lit. " One word." 

* Perhaps " Rabban " would be more correct. The MS. uses an 
abbreviation. 

^° Sec Aboth ii. 10, where Eliezer is described as a " plastered 
cistern which loses not a drop," and cf. Taylor's note on p. 34 of his 
(2nd) edition of Abolh. The second paragraph ends here in the MS. 

" The 1st and 2nd eds. read, " they received." 



R. ELIEZER AND HIS BRETHREN 7 

will arise and go away from thee. Rabban Jochanan ben 
Zakkai arose and went outside. (Thereupon) R. Eliezer 
sat down and expounded. ^ His face shone like the light of 
the sun and his effulgence beamed forth like that of Moses,^ 
so that no one knew whether it was day or night. ^ They 
went and said to Rabban Jochanan ben Zakkai : Come and 
see R. Eliezer sitting and expounding, his face shining like 
the light of the sun and his effulgence beaming like that of 
Moses, so that no one knows whether it be day or night.* 
He came from (his place) behind him ^ and kissed him on 
his head, saying to him : Happy are ye, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, because this one has come forth from your 
loins. 

Hyrkanos his father said : To whom does (R. Jochanan) 
speak thus ? The people answered : To Eliezer thy son. 
He said to them : (R. Jochanan) should not have spoken in 
that manner, but (in this wise), " Happy am I because he 
has come forth from my loins." Whilst R. Eliezer was 
sitting and expounding, his father was standing upon his 
feet. When || (Eliezer) saw his father standing upon his feet, 
he became agitated and said to him : My father ! be seated, 
for I cannot utter the words of the Torah when thou art 
standing on thy feet.*^ (Hyrkanos) replied to him : My son, 
it was not for this reason that I came, but my intention was 
to disinherit thee. Now that I have come and I have 



1 According to Gen. Rab. xlii. i., the text of Eliezer's exposition 
was Ps. xxxvii. 14, " The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have 
bent their bow ; to cast down the poor and needy, to slay such as 
be upright in the way." The brothers of EUezer might possibly be 
described in the terms of this text. 

2 The reference is to Ex. xxxiv. 35, " And the skin of Moses' face 
shone." See also Eccles. viii. i. 

^ The third paragraph ends here. 

* This sentence is wanting in the printed editions. There seems 
to be some confusion in the text. The MS. concludes here the fourth 
paragraph. 

* According to Aboth d. R. Nathan (6) xiii. R. Jochanan had gone 
forth from the assembly so as not to embarrass R. Eliezer. While 
Eliezer is expounding, R. Joshua and R. Simeon ben Nathaniel leave 
the assembly to find R. Jochanan, to whom they say, " Come and see! 
R. Eliezer is 'sitting and expounding things more profoundly than 
(the things) told to Moses at Sinai." For another instance of kissing 
by the same teacher see T.B. Chagigah, 14b. 

* It would be disrespectful for a son to sit in the presence of his 
parent, who would be standing; cf. T.B. Kiddushin, 33b, where this 
theme is discussed. 



8 RABBI ELIEZER 

witnessed all this praise ; behold thy brothers are dis- 
inherited and their portion is given to thee as a gift.^ 

(Eliezer) replied : Verily I am not equal to one of them.^ 
If I had asked the Holy One, blessed be He, for land, it would 
be possible for Him to give this to me, as it is said, " The 
earth is the Lord's, and the fidness thereof" (Ps. xxiv. 1). 
Had I asked the Holy One, blessed be He, for silver and 
gold, He could have given them to me, as it is said, " The 
silver is mine, and the gold is mine " ^ (Hag. ii. 8). But I 
asked the Holy One, blessed be He, that I might be worthy 
(to learn the) Torah only, as it is said, "• Therefore I esteem 
all precepts concerning all things to be right ; and I hate 
every false way " (Ps. cxix. 128). 

' The fifth paragraph ends here in the MS. 

• This section to the end of the chapter is to be found in Jalkut 
Makhiri to Psalms (Ps. cxix.), § 77, with sUght variations in the reading. 
The last sentence reads : " But I prayed to Him only that I might be 
found worthy, as it is said, ' Therefore I esteem all precepts,' " etc. 

* The ist ed. and subsequent editions continue the rest of the verse, 
but a strange error has crept into their texts ; they read " amar " instead 
of " n'um," which is the actual reading in Haggai. This error is also 
in the Talmud (B.) Kiddushin, 82b. 



CHAPTER nil 

PREMUNDANE CREATION, AND THE WORK OF THE FIRST DAY 

[2b. ii.] 

R. Eliezer 2 BEN Hyrkanos opened ^ (his discourse with 
the text), " Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord, or * 
shew forth all his praise ? " (Ps. cvi. 2).^ Is there any 
man ^ who can utter the mighty acts of the Holy One, 
blessed be He, or who can shew forth all His praise ? ' 
Not even the ministering angels ^ are able to narrate (the 
Divine praise). But to investigate a part of His mighty 
deeds with reference to what He has done, and what He 
will do in the future (is permissible), so that His name 
should be exalted among His creatures, whom He has 

1 This is probably the beginning of the Baraitha or Pirke de R. 
Eliezer. The Chronicles of Jerahmeel begin with this section of our 
work. The following chapters up to Chapter XI. form a treatise 
dealing with Maaseh Bereshith (The Work of^the Creation) and Ma aseh 
Merkabah (The theme of God s Chariot) . Cosmological and theosophical 
themes were favourite ones in the school of R. Eliezer 's famous teacher, 
R. Jochanan ben Zakkai ; see T.B. Chagigah, 14b, for the story of R. 
Jochanan ben Zakkai listening to R. Elazar ben 'Arakh expounding the 
Maaseh Merkabah. 

^ This gives the title to the book. 

' i.e. explained (the text). 

* The Venice edition and several later editions are at variance with 
the actual text of the psalm by adding " and who," which is not in 
the Biblical quotation. The quotation is correctly given in B.M. MS. 
and in the first printed text (Constantinople, 1514). 

* See Jalkut, in loc. 

* The printed editions add . " in the world." 

' See T.B. Megillah, i8a, for the view that the one who utters the 
praise of God to excess will be taken from the world, based on 
Job xxxvii. 20. Cf. Slav. Enoch xxiv. 3. 

* The ministering angels are identified by Siphre (Deut. § 306, end) 
with " the sons of Elohim " of Job i. 6, and they are probably to be 
identified with " the angels of sanctification " mentioned in the Book 
of Jubilees ii. 2, 18 ; cf. Eth. Enoch Ixi. 10 ff. For " the heavenly 
host praising God " see Luke ii. 13, and for angelology see J.E. i. 
5832- 



10 RABBI ELIEZER 

created, from one end of the world || to the other, as it is 
said, "■ One generation to another shall laud thy works " 
{ibid. cxlv. 4).^ 

Before the world was created, the Holy One, blessed be 
He, with His Name - alone existed, and the thought arose 
in Him to create the world. He began to trace (the founda- 
tions of)'"' the world before Himself, but it would not stand. 
They ' told a parable. To what is the matter like ? To a 
king who wshes to build a palace ^ for himself. If he 
had not traced in the earth its foundations, its exits and 
its entrances,^ he does not begin to build.' Likewise the 
Holy One, blessed be He, was tracing (the plans of) the 
world before Himself, but it did not remain standing until 
He created repentance.^ 

Seven things ^ were created before the world was created. 

' Our text has been used by Jalkut, Psalms, § 864. Here ends the 
first paragraph in MS. 

^ On the Tetragrammaton see Nestle, Z.D.M.G. xxxii. ; Fiirst, ibid. 
xxxiii. ; and Nager, ibid. xxxv. The printed editions read here: " The 
Holy One, blessed be He, and His great Name." On " God and His 
Name " see D. H. Joel's die Religionsphilosophie da Sohar, p. 235. 

•• The words in brackets are based on B.M. MS., which reads : " He 
traced its foundations, its exits and entrances, on the earth, but it did 
not stand firm until He created repentance, because seven (things) 
were created before the world." 

* i.e. the Rabbis. 

* Paltin = iraKdTLov , paLitium, palace. 

* The phraseology is based on Ezek. xliii. 11. The printed editions 
reverse the order and read : " its entrances and its exits." 

' The architect's plans must be prepared prior to the erection of 
the building. What holds good for our earthly experience is assumed 
to have its counterpart in the experience of the Creator. Philo {de 
Mundi opiftc. 4. i. M. 4, C.W. i. p. 4, ij 19) offers a good parallel to the 
idea of preparing plans prior to the Creation ; see also Gen. Rab. i. i. 
and my Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 4. 

* Repentance is the sole condition whereby harmony, divine and 
human, can obtain, of. Wisdom xii. 10, 10. On the subject of Repent- 
ance see J.E. X. 376 ff. Lazarus, Ethik, i. pp. 44 1., and Schechter, 
Aspects, see index, s.v. " Repentance" and "Penitence," and cf. my 
Grace of God, pp. 30 ff. The second paragraph in the MS. ends here. 

" This passage is borrowed from T.B. Pesachim, 54a, or T.B. 
Nedarim, 39b, the order being varied by Repentance coming after the 
Torah. See also Jalkut on Jeremiah. § 298, and cf. Gen. Rab. i. 4 (Theo- 
dor, p. 6 note, iti loc.) and Tanna dc be Elijahu Rab. xxxi. p. 160, where 
only six subjects are enumerated. Fricdmann (note 33, in loc.) points 
out that by comparing the various readings in Talmud and Midrash 
we find that there were nine prcmundane things, cf. Zohar. L< v. 34b. 
It is important to bear in mind, in reading Gen. Rab. i. 4. that of 
the six prcmundane things some were actually created and .some were 
only ideally present in the mind of the Creator. The Torah and the 
Throne of Glory were created, but the patriarchs, Israel, the Temple, 



PREMUNDANE CREATION 11 

They are : The Torah, Gehinnom, the Garden of Eden,^ the 
Throne of Glory, the Temple, Repentance, and the Name 
of the Messiah. 

Whence do we know that this applies to the Torah ? 
Because it is said, " The Lord possessed me ■^ in the beginning 
of his way, before his works of old" (Prov. viii. 22). "Of 
old " ^ means before the world was created.'* Whence do 
we know this with regard to the Garden of Eden ? Because 
it is said, " And the Lord God planted a garden of old " ^ 
(Gen. ii. 8). " Of old," whilst as yet the world had not 
been created. Whence do we know this with reference 
to the Throne of Glory ? ^ Because it is said, " Thy throne 
is established of old " (Ps. xciii. 2). " Of old," whilst as 
yet the world had not been created. Whence do we know 

and the Name of the Messiah were only in the thought of God. In 
the Book of Enoch (Ethiopic) xlviii. 3, the Messiah is said to have had 
his name named before the sun and the signs were created ; see my 
Hellenism and Christianity, pp. 15 ft., on the question of the pre-existence 
of the Messiah, and cf. Assump'.ion of Moses i. 14. 

1 The " Garden of Eden " is usually rendered by the term Paradise. 
The fact that Gehenna is in juxtaposition to " Gan Eden " would lead 
one to infer that Paradise was referred to in this context. Our author 
is probably opposing the view that the Garden of Eden was created 
on the " third day " ; see Jubilees ii. 7. 

2 The verse might be rendered : " The Lord formed me as the begin- 
ning of his way." The reference is to Wisdom, which is here personified ; 
see Hellenism and Christianity , pp. 64 ft. Christianity under the 
influence of Alexandrian Jewish thought identified Wisdom with its 
Messiah, whilst Palestinian Judaism identified Wisdom with the Torah. 

2 The ist ed. and later editions derive the inference from the word 
" before." 

*" Whence do we know this with reference to Gehinnom ? Because 
it is said, ' For a Topheth is prepared of old ' (Isa. xxx. 33). ' Of 
old ' means whilst yet the world had not been created." This paragraph 
is omitted by the MS., but it occurs in the ist ed. Topheth was 
a place in the Hinnom Valley {i.e. Ge-henna or Ge-Hinnom) where 
the hateful and cruel Moloch abominations had been perpetrated ; see 
W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 357. The Tanna de be Elijahu 
Rab., loc. cit., says: "Topheth is nought else but Gehinnom." See 
also Schwally, Z.A.T.W., 1890, pp. 212 ff. 

° See R.V. in loc. Our Midrashic passage occurs as follows in the 
Pal. Targum of Gen. ii. 8 : " And a garden from the Eden of the just 
was planted by the Word of the Lord God before the creation of 
the world." This Haggadah appears also in Jerome ; see Diestel, 
Geschichte des A.T. in der Christlichen Kirche, p. 102, and Rahmer, 
Die Hebrdischen Traditionen in den Werken des Hieronymtts, p. 17. 
See also 4 Ezra iii. 6, which states : " And thou leddest him (Adam) 
into Paradise, which thy right hand did plant before ever the earth 
came forward." On Paradise see J.E. ix. pp. 516 f. 

' The Throne of Glory as premundane occurs in Slavonic Enoch 
XXV. 4, where God says, " And I made for myself a throne . . . and I 
said to the light," etc. ; see LXX Prov. viii. 27. 



12 RABBI ELIEZER 

that Repentance (was premundanc) ? Because it is said, 
" Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou 
hadst formed the earth and the world " {ibid. xc. 2) ; ^ 
and then in close proximity (we read), " Thou turncst man 
to contrition " {ibid. 3). " Before," i.e. before || the world 
was created. Whence do we know this with regard to the 
Temple ? Because it is said, " A glorious throne, set on 
high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary " 
(Jer, xvii. 12). " From the beginning," whilst as yet the 
world had not been created.- Whence we do know that the 
name of the Messiah (was premundane) ? Because it is said, 
" His name shall endure for ever ; before the sun Yinnon 
was his name " (Ps. Ixxii. 17).^ " Yinnon," before the 
world had been created. Another verse says, " But thou, 
Bethlehem Ephrathah,^ which art to be least among the 
thousands of Judah, from thee shall he come forth unto 
me who is to be ruler over Israel ; whose ancestry belongs 
to the past, even to the days of old '" " (Mic. v. 2). " The 
past," ^ whilst as yet the world had not been created. 

P^orthwith " the Holy One, blessed be He, took counsel 
with the Torah whose name is Tushijah (Stability or 
Wisdom) with reference to the creation of the world. (The 
Torah) replied and said to Him : Sovereign of the worlds ! 

^ The translation in the Revised Version might be consulted, in order 
to see how the Midrashic point of view, based on a literal translation, 
agrees with or differs from the ordinary interpretation. In the ist ed. 
this section follows that dealing with the Temple. 

^ The premundane or Heavenly Temple was known to the writer of 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, ix. ii, who speaks of the " greater and 
more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of 
this creation." See Wisdom ix. S, and Odes ol Sol n\\o:\ W. 3. Mai- 
monides. Guide 1. ix., discusses our them'.'. See also Menorath Ha-Maor, 
Introduction to the fourth book, where we are cautioned not to take 
the words in this passage in their literal meaning. 

^ The R.V. reads : " His name shall be continued as long as (or, 
" before ") the sun." For Yinnon as a Messianic name see T.B. 
Synhedrin, 98b, and infra, p. 233. The Midrashic interpretation 
in our tc xt pccurs already in LXX, in loc. : " His name endures before 
the sun." 

■* The rest of the quotation is missing in the MS. 

* This quotation, a second one to justify the idea that the name of 
the Messiah was premundane, is omitted by the Menorath Ha-Maor, 
loc. cit. It is not given by the Talmud. On this verse in Micah see 
Hellenism and Christianity, pii. 5!. 

* " The past " is the same word which was rendered " of old " 
(Gen. ii. 8) quoted above. 

' In the MS. the fourth paragraph begins here. On the theme see 
Wisdom IX. 9 f . 



PREMUNDANE CREATION 13 

if there be no host for the king ^ and if there be no camp 
for the king, over Avhom does he rule ? If there be no 
people to praise the king, where is the honour of the king ? 
The Holy One, blessed be He, heard this and it pleased 
Him. The Torah spake : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
took counsel with me concerning the creation of the world, 
as it is said, " Counsel is mine, and sound knowledge ; ^ 
I am understanding ; I have might " (Prov. viii. 14). 
Hence they ^ say. Every government which has no counsellors 
is not a proper government.^ Whence do Ave know this? 
From the government of the House of David which employed 
counsellors, as it is said, " And Jonathan David's uncle ^ 
was a counsellor, a man of understanding, and a scribe " 
(1 Chron. xxvii. 32). If the government of the House of 
David had counsellors, how much more so should other 
people act likewise. This is of benefit to them, as it is 
said, " But he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise " 
(Prov. xii. 15), || and (Scripture) says, " But in the multitude 
of counsellors there is safety " [ibid. xi. 14). 

Eight ^ things were created on the first day, namely, 

1 This is quoted in Ginzberg's Geonica, ii. p. 88. 

* The idea of Wisdom or the Torah being with God prior to the 
Creation is generally assumed to be expressed in the famous passage 
verses 22-31 of this eighth chapter of Proverbs. This is, however, a 
mistaken view ; see Hellenism and Christianity, pp. 65 £f. The source 
is rather to be found in the LXX Prov. viii. 30. Our Midrashic 
passage is based on Gen. Rab. i. i. ; see also Jalkut on Prov. viii. 14, § 941, 
and see Bacher, P. i. p. 107 (note), who refers to the parallel in Philo. 

^ The 1st ed. reads : " The wise men." 

* Might one infer from this passage that the writer of P.R.E. was 
living in a land where the regime was not conducted in accordance with 
the rule laid down ? Perhaps the reference is to the rule of the Moham- 
medans in Palestine, Egypt, or Babylon. 

^ The 1st and 2nd eds. have the reading " the son of David." This 
is an error. 

* The fifth paragraph in the MS. begins here. These eight things 
are almost identical with the seven things enumerated in Jubilees 
ii. 2, if " the abysses " of the latter correspond to the " Chaos and 
Void " of our text. See Jerahmeel i. 3, which is based on our text. 
This suggested identification seems to be warranted by the fact that 
Philo {loc. cit. 7) agrees with the enumeration in our text and Jubilees 
in the following six objects of creation : heaven, earth, darkness, water, 
spirit, and light. As the seventh object created on the first day he 
gives the abyss. This is also the reading in the Midrash Tadsheh vi., 
where Tehomoth= abyss. It seems that Philo knew a cosmology 
which was known to Jubilees, to Midrash Tadsheh, and to our author; 
see Charles, Jubilees, pp. 11 f. T.B. Chagigah, 12a, which gives appropri- 
ate quotations to support the view enunciated, enumerates ten things 
as being created on the first day. Neither the Talmud nor P.R.E, 



14 RABBI ELIEZER 

Heaven, Earth, Light, Darkness, Tohii (Chaos), Bohu 
(Void), Wind (or Spirit), and Water, as it is said, " And the 
wind of God was moving upon the face of the waters " 
(Gen. i. 2).i 

mention Tehomoth, which is the equivalent to abyss, but they both 
have Tohu and Bohu. 

' nn can mean wind or spirit; Gen. i. 2 might be rendered, " And 
a mighty wind." Is there any anci.-nt Rabbinic authority for the 
translation in the R.V., " the spirit of God " ? See Bacher, 'i". i. p. 
424. and cf. Philo, ed. Cohn, G.T. i. p. 36, n. 3. The following section 
first appeared in the 2nd ed. (Venice, 1544) of P.R.E. : 

" Some (wise men) say that day and night also,i as it is said, ' And 
there was evening and morning, one day' (Gen. i. 5). 

" Eight things were created on the second day, namely, the Well,* 
the Manna, ^ the Rod,^ the Rainbow,^ the art of writing, the written 
characters,^ the Garments,' and the destroying spirits. ^ 

"Ten things arose in the thought (of the Creator),* namely, 
Jerusalem,^" the spirits of the patriarchs,^! the paths of the righteous,** 

1 This is based on T.B. Chagigah, loc. cz/., which refers to the " measure 
of the day and the measure of the night " ; cf. Jubilees ii. 2. 

2 For the Well, see Num. xxi. 16 ff.; see also Pirke Aboth v. 9, 
with Taylor's note, p. 84. Cf. Pal. Targum, Num. xxii. 28. There 
seems to be considerable confusion here, because, according to Aboth 
(loc. cit.), all the things enumerated in our text except the Garments 
were created at twilight just before the first Sabbath. This tradi- 
tion is recorded b}' our book, in/ra, pp. 124 f. ; see also T.B. 
Pesachim, loc. cit. 

^ On the Manna, see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 185 ff. 

* On the Rod, see Ex. iv. 17, and cf. Abrahams, The Rod of Moses, the 
Book of Jashar, Ixvii., and infra, p. 312. 

^ On the Rainbow, see Gen. ix. 13. 

* On the art of writing and the characters of the script, see Low, 
Graphische Requisiten und Erzeugnisse bei den Juden, p. 3 and note 9, 
where we learn that the text should be rendered, " the writing and the 
instrument employed in writing." The writing on the tablets is men- 
tioned in Ex. xxxii. 16. 

' The Garments were those worn by Adam and Eve ; see Gen. iii. 21, 
and the Book of Jashar, vii. ; the subject will arise in a later section of 
our book. The Church also has its legends dealing with the seamless 
tunic of its Founder. 

* On the Mazzikin or evil spirits, see J.E. iv. 514 ff., and cf. T.B. 
Pesachim, loc. cit., and Siphre, Deut. § 355, n. 10, for the source of the 
entire paragraph. 

* Here again we have a text which is faulty, inasmuch as Gehenna 
and the Temple were reckoned among the premundane creation. The 
writer has confused the tradition about the ten things created on the 
eve of the first Sabbath at twilight with the premundane creation. 
See Pal. Targ. Gen. ii. 2 and Aboth v. 9. 

*'' The ideal heavenly Jerusalem of the O.T. (see Isa. xlix. 16) is 
known also to the writers of the New Testament ; see Gal. iv. 26 and 
Rev. iii. 12. The Jerahmeel MS. reads: "the place of the Temple." 
See also Apoc. Baruch iv. 3, and Test. XII Pat., Dan v. 12. 

11 See Hos. ix. 10, where the emphasis is to be put on the words 
" first season " according to Gen. Rab. 1.4. 

** For the expression see Prov. iv. 18, and cf. Gen. Rab. ii. 5. 



PREMUNDANE CREATION 15 

Whence were the heavens created ? From the Hght 
of the garment with which He was robed. ^ He took (of 
this Hght) and stretched it Hke a garment and (the heavens) 
began to extend continually until He caused them to hear, 
" It is sufficient." '^ Therefore is He called God Almighty 
{El Shaddai), who said to the world : ^ " // is sufficient" 
and it stood (firm). Whence do we know that the heavens 
were created from the light of His garment ? Because it 
is said, " Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment ; 
who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain " (Ps. civ. 2). ' 

Whence was the earth created ? He took of the snow ^ 

Gehinnom/ the waters of the Flood,^ the second tables of the Law,^ 
the Sabbath,* the Temple/ the Ark,* and the light of the world to 
come." ' 

This reading occurs in Jerahmeel i. 3, 4, but not in the B.M. MS. ot 
P.R.E. The latter continues :" Whence was the water created ? From 
the light of the garment of the Holy One, blessed be He. Light signifies 
nought else but water, as it is said, ' He spreadeth abroad the cloud of 
his light' " (Job xxxvii. 11). 

1 See Ex. Rab. l. i. The idea of this Midrash is that God created 
the heavens without any help from any intermediary. God alone is the 
Creator. " The light of His robe " means His will or favour. The 
world has been created by Divine love and favour for the benefit of 
mankind, the children of the Heavenly Father. 

2 See T.B. Chagigah, loc. cit., " This is what Resh Lakish also said : 
What is the meaning of the words ' I am God Almighty ' (Shaddai) ? It 
means I am He who (Sha) said to the world, ' It is suificient ' [dai)." 

3 The printed editions read : " to the heavens." 

* The second half of the verse is omitted in the MS. The fifth 
paragraph ends here. Cf. also Ps. cii. 25, 26. The Church Fathers 
discussed the creation narrative in much the same way as our author : 
thus Athanasius in his exposition of the 103 rd Psalm (corresponding 
to the Hebrew 104th Psalm) refers to the formation of the heavens in 
the terms of the Old Testament writers ; see also Basil, Hexcsmeron, iii. 

* See D. H. Joel, op. cit. pp. 321 ft., where a full discussion of this 
passage is given and the views of Maimonides and the theories of the 
Cabbalists are examined. 

^ On the fire of Gehenna see infra, p. 20. Luria suggests that the 
text should be emended so as to read, "the paths of the wicked," to 
correspond with the expression " paths of the righteous." 

2 In the days of Noah ; see Gen. Rab. ii. 3. 

* See Ex. xxxiv. i : " Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the 
first." The first tables were of heavenly origin (cf. ibid, xxxii. 16), so 
also the second. 

* Jubilees ii. 30 offers a parallel to our text, " We kept Sabbath 
in the heavens before it was made known to any flesh to keep Sabbath 
thereon on the earth." 

* See I Kings viii. 13, and cf. supra, p. 12, note 2. 

* Of the Sanctuary ; see Num. Rab. iv. 13. According to the Midrash, 
the Ark represents the Th. one of Glory. 

' See T.B. Chagigah, loc. 'it., and Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 8 
and note 3. 



16 RABBI ELIEZER 

(or ice) which was beneath His Throne of Glory and threw 
it upon the waters, and the waters became congealed so 
that the dust of the earth was formed, as it is said, " He 
saith to the snow, Be thou earth" (Job xxxvii. 6).^ 

The hooks - of the heavens are fixed in the waters of 
the ocean. ^ The waters of the ocean are situated between 
the ends of the heavens and the ends of the earth. The 
ends of the heavens are spread out over the waters of the 
ocean, as it is said, " Who laycth the beams of his chambers •* 
in the waters" (Ps. civ. 3).'' 

The dome (or inside shape) of the heavens ascends upwards 
Hke a tub,*' (that is to say) like a tent (denda) which is spread 
out ' with its extremities (fixed) || downwards ^ and its dome 
stretching upwards so that people can sit beneath it and 
their feet stand on the earth, whilst all of them are inside 
the tent ; in like wise are the heavens, their extremities 
are (fixed) downwards and their dome stretches upwards 

* See Tanchuma (Buber) Mikcz, i6. Our text seems to be based 
upon T.J. Chagigah, ii. i. 77a, according to which the world was origin- 
ally " Water in water." Then God made the water into snow (or ice) ; 
see Ps. cxlvii. 16, 17. This p.salm in verse 15 speaks of God send- 
ing out " his commandment upon (the) earth ; his word runneth very 
swiftly " — pointing to the word of creation. See Bacher, P. iii. 218. 
The verse quoted from Job (xxxvii. 6) is rendered by the R.V., 
" He saith to the snow, Fall thou on the earth." See also Sepher 
Jezirah i. 11 for a parallel. See Isa. xl. 12 for the reference to the " dust 
of the earth," and cf. T.B. Joma, 54b; Maimonides, Guide, ii., xxvi., 
and Midrash Konen, ed. Jellinek, B.H.M. ii. p. 24. This concludes the 
seventh paragraph. The sixth paragraph is not marked in the MS. 

* Kurkos (KipKos), ring or hook. The heavens being compared 
with a curtain are assumed to have hooks or rings wherewith they 
may be fastened ; see Tosaphoth Chagigah, 12a, catchword " From the 
end." The'Arukh (ed. Kohut, vii. 215b) quotes our text. 

^ Okeanos (ibKtavds). The Church Fathers dwell on the relation 
between the Ocean and the world ; thus Chrysostomus, Homilies on 
the Epistle to the Romans (xxviii.), quotes Ps. civ. 6 in this connection. 
Cf. Augustine, tie Civitate Dei, xii. 12. John of Damascus, On the 
Orthodox laith, ii. 9, tells us, " The Ocean flows around the entire 
earth like a river." See Test. Levi ii. 7, " And 1 entered from the first 
heaven, and I saw there a great sea hanging." Cf. also Jubilees ii. 4. 

* i.e. the heavens. 

* The eighth paragraph ends here. 

" Or, basket. The MS. uses the word denda (tent), which occurs 
again, injra, p. 323; this points to Spain as the home of the scribe 
who wrote our MS. On the " tent " see T.J. Berakhoth, 2c, d, and 
Baraitha d. Shemucl, i. The word which is translated by " tub " 
occurs only in our MS. 

■> The MS. adds : " like a tent." 

* The ist ed. reads " upwards " ; in this paragraph there are several 
variants in the MSS. and the printed text'-. 



PREMUNDANE CREAtlON 17 

and all creatures dwell beneath them as in a tent, as it is 
said, " And he spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in " 
(Isa. xl. 22).i 

Four quarters ^ have been created in the world ; the 
quarter facing the east, that facing the south, that facing 
the west and that facing the north. From the quarter 
facing the east the light goeth forth to the world.^ From 
the quarter facing south the dews of blessing and the rains 
of blessing * go forth to the world. ^ From the quarter 
facing west^ where are the treasuries' of snow and the 
treasuries of hail, and thence come forth into the world 
cold and heat and rains. From the quarter facing north 
darkness goeth forth into the world. The quarter facing 
north He created, but He did not complete it, for He said, 
Anyone who says : I am a God, let him come and complete 
this quarter which I have left (incomplete) and all will 
know that he is a God.^ 

There (in the north) is the abode of the destroying 
spirits, earthquakes, winds, demons, lightnings and thunders ; 
thence evil issues forth into the world, as it is said, " Out of 
the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants 
of the earth" (Jer. i. 14).^ Some say by ten Sayings was 

^ This verse is also applied by Basil, op. cit. i. 8, in his account of 
the form of the heavens. 

^ nn (as in Ezek. xlii. 16-20) = direction or quarter of the 
world ; wind would not be appropriate here. Gaster, Jerahmeel i. 7, 
renders the word " wind " and also " corner." On the four quarters 
see Ethiopic Enoch Ixxvii. i, Num. Rab. ii. 10, and Pesikta Rabbathi, 
§ xlvi. p. iS8a. 

3 See T.B. Baba Bathra, 25a, b. 

* See Ezek. xxxiv. 26. 

* The rains which are not a blessing come from the north ; see infra, 
note g. 

* Eth. Enoch Ixxvii. 2 : " And the west quarter is named the 
diminished, because there all the luminaries of the heaven wane and go 
down." In Num. Rab., loc. cit., the reading is slightly different: " In 
the west are the treasuries of snow, and the treasuries of hail, cold, and 
heat go forth to the world . . . from the north cometh forth darkness 
to the world." 

'See T.B. Chagigah, 12b, and cf. Eth. Enoch xh. 3 £f. The con- 
ception rests on Job xxxviii. 22. All the powers of nature were sup- 
posed to dwell in their respective chambers or to be stored up in 
treasuries. 

* This seems to point to polemics. Probably the Gnostic doctrine of 
the Demiurge is attacked here. For other polemics in our book, see 
infra, pp. 79, 851., and 252. See also Ascension of Isaiah iv. 6. 

* In the MS. the tenth paragraph ends here. Cf. Jubilees ii. 2. 
Origen, de Principiis, ii. viii. 3, quotes Jer. i. 14, and identifies the 



18 RABBI ELIEZER 

the world created ^ || and in three (Divine attributes) are 
these (ten Sayings) comprised,- as it is said, " The Lord 
by wisdom founded the earth ; by understanding he 
established the heavens, by his knowledge the depths were 
broken up " (Prov. iii. 19, 20). By these three (attributes) 
was the Tabernacle made, as it is said, " And I have filled 
him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, 
and with knowledge " (Ex. xxxi. 3). Likewise with these 
three (attributes) was the Temple made, as it is said, " He 3 
was the son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali, 
and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass ; and 
he was filled with wisdom and understanding and know- 
ledge " (1 Kings vii. 14). By these three attributes it Avill 
be rebuilt in the future, as it is said, " Through wisdom 
is an house * builded ; and by understanding it is established ; 
and by knowledge arc the chambers filled " (Prov. xxiv. 3, 4). 
With these three attributes will the Holy One, blessed 
be He, give three good gifts to Israel in the future, as it is 

"north" with "the cold north wind," which is the "Devil." For 
Rabbinic references to the winds see T.B. Baba Bathra, loc. cit. ; and 
cf. Num. Rab., loc. cit., as a parallel to our text. Jerahmeel MS. omits 
th': rest of this chapter. 

1 Our text reappears in the Zohar, Lev. iia. See Pirke Aboth v. 
I , and Taylor's note, p. 78 of his 2nd edition. Cf . T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 
32a, where the first verse of Genesis is reckoned as one of the ten sayings 
owing to verse 6 ot Ps. xxxiii. The Venice edition adds the follow- 
ing, namely: (i) " And God said, Let there be light " (Gen. i. 3). (2) 
" .\nd God said, Let there be a firmament " {ibid. 6). (3) " And God 
said, Let the waters be gathered together " {ibid. 9). (4) " And God 
said. Let the earth put forth grass " {ibid. 11). (5) " And God said, 
Let there be luminaries " {ibid. 14). (6) " And God said, Let the 
waters bring forth abundantly" {ibid. 20). (7) " And God said. Let 
the earth bring forth " {ibid. 24). (8) " And God said, Let us make 
man" {ibid. 2b). (9) "And God said. Behold. I have given you" 
{ibid. 29). (10) " And God ^ said. It is not good that the man should 
be alone " {ibid. ii. 18). 

- Perhaps the translation should be : By three (Divine attributes) 
were (the works of creation) completed. The Venice edition adds : 
" And they arc. Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge " On these 
three attributes see T.B. Berakhoth. 55a, and Midrash Shocher Tob, 
Ps. 1. I, and Buber's note (4), where the sources are given. This 
Midrash' may help us to understand our te.xt : " With three names 
did the Holy One, blessed be He, create His world, corre- 
sponding to the three good attributes through which the world was 
crceLtcd .' 

=* Hiram, the builder of Solomon's Temple. 

* The House is a common designation of the Temple, see Jastrow, 
Targum Dictionary, p. i6Sa. 

1 The Hebrew text in Genesis reads. " Lord God." 



PREMUNDANE CREATION 19 

said, " For the Lord will give ^ wisdom, out of his mouth 
Cometh knowledge and understanding " {ibid. ii. 6).^ It 
is not said, " The Lord has given wisdom." These three 
attributes will be given ^ to King Messiah, as it is said, 
" And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit 
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and 
might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord " 
(Isa. xi. 2).^ 

* The next sentence should precede the rest of the quotation if we 
follow the order of the words in the MS. It is omitted in the printed 
editions. 

- See Jalkut, Prov. § 935, where attention is drawn to the verb 
" will give " in the imperfect tense indicating the future. This point 
is lost sight of in the R.V. ; see also Ex. Rab. xli. 3, and cf. T.B. Bcrak- 
hoth, 5a. 

^ The 1st ed. adds "in double measure"; this has been adopted 
by later editions. 

* This famous passage from Isaiah is quoted by Justin Martyr in his 
Dialogue with Trypho, Ixxxvii., as referring to the Messiah. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE CREATION OX THE SECOND DAY [i.K. i.] 

On the second day ^ the Holy One, blessed be He, created 
the firmament,- the angels,'' fire for flesh and blood, ^ and the 
fire of Gehinnom.' Were not heaven and earth created on 
the first day, as it is said, '' In the beginning God created ^ 
the heaven and the earth " (Gen. i. 1) ? Which firmament 

1 See Jalkut, Gen. § 5, and Jalkut, Ezek. j 33S. 

- According to Jubilees ii. 4, the firmament only was created on 
the second day : see Slav. Enoch xx\-i.-xxvii. 

' In Gen. Rab. i. 3 and iii. o. the question is 'iiscussed as to which 
day of the week of creation were the angels called into being. Accord- 
ing to R. Jochanan it was the second day, as in our text, whereas 
according to R. Chanina it was the fifth day. Theodor (ik Ice.) gives 
the various parallel sources in notes 7 and 8. See also Pal. Targum 
on Gen. i. 26, where the creation of the angels is also assigned to the 
second day, as in Slavonic Enoch xxix. i fit. In Jubilees ii. 2 thi^ 
event is said to have been on the first day ; see Charles' note 2 on 
pp. 12 f. Chir book opposes this \-iew. The Church Fathers sometimes 
held this view ; see Epiphanins, adv. Hsr. Lxv. 4. The Rabbis were 
fully aware of the teaching that God was assisted at the creation 
by angels or the Messiah, and in order to oppose such doctrine the 
creation of the angels was fixed on the second or fifth day ; cf. Ex. 
Rab. XV. 22. 

• See T.B. Pesachim, 54a, and Gen. Rab. xi. 2 for the \-iew that 
this fire wais created at the termination of the first Sabbath. As 
the angels are often of fire (cf. Rev. xiv. iS), both angels and fire 
are held by our author to have been created on the second dav. 
This view is held in spite of the statement that light was created on 
the first day. 

• The fire of Gehenna is mentioned in the New Testament ; see Matt, 
v. 22, and c:. Rev. xx. 10. See also Eth. Enoch xc. 24 and 26, the Apoca- 
Ixrpse of Baruch lix. 10, 11, and the ApocaI\'p>se of Peter for an account 
of Gehenna. The 21st book of Augustine's de Civitate Dei is devoted 
to this theme. The Rabbis came to the conclusion that the fire of 
Gehenna must have been created on the second day, because the 
Scripture does not say with reference to this day " and it was good," 
which, however, does occur in the story of the other five days of 
creation; see T.B. Pesachim, 54a, Ex. Rab. xv. 22, and Jalkut, 
Gen. § 15. 

• The MS. omits the rest of the verse ; it is given in the ist ed. and 
subsequent editions. 



CREATION OX THE SECOND DAY 21 

was created on the second day ? Rabbi Eliezer said : It 
was the firmament which is above the heads of the four 
Chajjoth (li\-ing creatures)/ (as it is said-), "And over the 
head of the Chajjoth there was the likeness of a firma- 
ment, like the colour of the terrible crystal " ^ (Ezek. i. 22). 
What is the meaning of (the expression), " like the colour 
of the terrible crystal " ? It means like precious stones and 
pearls ; it illuminates all the heavens like a lamp which is 
illuminating - the whole house and like the sun which is 
shining ^\-ith maximum intensity at noonday, as it is said, 
" The light dwelleth with him '' (Dan. ii. 22) ; ^ and like this 
in the future wUl the righteous shed light. '^ as it is said, 
" And they that be -wise shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament "' {ibid. xii. 3)." Were it not for that firmament 
the world would be engulfed by the waters above it and 
below it;* but (the firmament) divides the waters (above) 
from the waters (below), as it is said, " And God said, Let 
there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, (and let 
it divide the waters from the waters) " ^ (Gen. i. 6), it 
illuminates ^° between the waters above and the waters 
below.^^ 

(As for) the angels created on the second ^- day, 
when they are sent (as messengers) by His word they 
are changed into winds, and when they minister before 
Him they are changed into fire, as it is said. '' "\Mio 

1 On the Chajjoth. see T.B. Chagigah, 13a, and Hastings' Dictionary 
of the Bvle, iii. 128 i. The Chajjoth are to be identified vrith the 
" creature " of Rev. iv. 7. Do the^- correspond with the angels of the 
presence of Jubilees ii. 2 ? The firmament imphes the division between 
the upper and lower waters; see ilidrash Konen (JelUnek, B.H.M. 
ii- p- 25). 

- " As it is said " occurs in the printed texts. 

3 Or " ice." 

* This is also the reading in B.M. ]\IS. See also Jalkut to Ezek. 
loc. cit.. and cf. Erh.. Enoch xiv. 9 fit. 

* The second paragraph in MS. begins here. 

* Cf. Matt. xiii. 43. Eth. Enoch xxxix. 7 i., and Ascension of Isaiah 
viii. 22. 

' This section is quoted by Tosaphoth, T.B. Baba Bathra, 8b, 
catchword. " Umazdike." 

* Perhaps the translation should be : " bj' the waters, for above it 
are waters and beneath it axe waters." This is practically the text 
in the printed editions. See Pal. Targum. G.n. i. 6. 

* This part of the verse in brackets is wanting in the MS. 
1" The 1st ed. reads: " it divides." 

^^ The second paragraph ends here. 
»2 B.M. MS. reads: " first day." 



22 RABBI ELIEZER 

maketh his angels winds ; his ministers a flaming fire " 
(Ps. civ. 4).i 

Four " classes of ministering angels minister and utter 
praise ^ before the Holy One, blessed be He : the first camp 
(led by) Michael ^ on His right, the second camp (led by) 
Gabriel ^ on His left, the third camp || (led by) Uriel ^ before 
Him, and the fourth camp (led by) Raphael ^ behind Him ; 
and the Shekhinah of the Holy One, blessed be He, is in the 
centre. He ^ is sitting on a throne high and exalted.^ His 
throne is high and suspended above in the air. The ap- 
pearance of His Glory is like the colour of amber.^*^ And 
the adornment of a crown is on His head, and the Ineffable 
Name ^^ is upon His forehead.^- One half (of His glory) is fire 
the other half is hail,^^^ at His right hand is life and at His 

' This verse is quoted by many of the Church Fathers in order 
to describe the nature of the angels ; see John of Damascus, op. cit. ii. 3. 
The MS. quotes only the first half of the verse. The entire verse is 
given by the first editions. The third paragraph ends here. 

* The New Testament refers to the four living creatures before 
God's throne ; see Rev. iv. 5. The whole of this chapter is a parallel 
to our text. 

^ The prmled texts omit " minister and." 

* The Midrash here has given rise to a passage in the Hebrew 
prayer-book; see Singer, p. 297. See also Num. Rab. ii. 10, Midrash 
Konen, p. 27. and Pesikta Rabbathi, § xlvi. p. iS^;a. On Michael see 
the valuable monograph by Leuken, and J.E. viii. 535 ff. As parallels 
to our text see Targum to Job xxv. 2, and Eth. Enoch xl. 9 and 
Ixxi. 8f. , which mentions the four archangels in the following order: 
Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel; in this Book of Enoch (ix. i) 
the angel Uriel appears to be the same as Phanuel. In the NT. we 
find Michael and Gabriel mentioned. The B.M. MS. reads here Gabriel 
in place of Michael, and Michael instead of Gabriel. 

* See J.E. V. 540 f. s ggg y £ ^ii. 383. 
' See/.E. X. 3i7f. » i.e. God. 

» This sentence is omitted by the B.M. MS. The words are found 
in the Sabbath Morning Liturgy, Singer, p. 126, last two lines. See 
Eth. Enoch xiv. 18. 

10 The B.M. MS. adds : " One-half thereof is fire and the other half is 
hail." In our MS. the fourth paragraph ends here. The ist ed., 
followed by subsequent editions, adds : " As it is said : ' And I saw 
as the colour of amber ' " (Ezek. i. 27). 

" The 1st ed. reads : " A crown is set on His head, and the diadem 
of the Ineffable Name is upon His forehead." On the Shem Hamme- 
phorash or "Ineffable Name" see G. Klein, Der cilteste Christliche 
Kiitechismus, pp. 44 ft., and supra, p. 10, note 2. 

'* This passage is the source for the words: " Upon His forehead is 
impressed the glory of His holy name " in the Hymn of Glory; see 
Singer, p. 79. The Venice edition adds : " and His eyes run to arid 
fro throughout the whole earth." 

'3 Fire and hail represent the two divine attributes of justice and 
love ; see Zohar, Gen. i86a, and cf. Eth. Enoch xiv. 20. The B.M. MS. 
omits these words in this context. 



CREATION ON THE SECOND DAY 23 

left is death. He has a sceptre of fire in His hand and a 
vein is spread before Him, and His eyes run to and fro 
throughout the whole earth, ^ and the seven angels, ^ which 
were created first,* minister before Him within the veil, 
and this (veil) is called Pargod.^ His footstool is like fire 
and hail.*' Fire is flashing continually around His throne,' 
righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His 
throne.^ And the likeness of His throne is like a sapphire 
throne with four legs,^ and the four holy Chajjoth are 
fixed to each leg, each one ^° has four faces and each one 

' See Coptic Apocrypha, p. 90, and Eth. Enoch xiv. 21. 
^ Cf. 2 Chron. xvi. g. 

* The seven angels or archangels are referred to in the Book of 
Enoch (Eth.), ch. xx. ; see Charles' notes, in loc, for further references. 

* The printed texts read : " Since the beginning." Does our book 
here agree with Jubilees ii. 2 ? 

6 lu-is (llapayavdos) ; see T.B. Berakhoth, i8b, and T.B. Chagigah, 
15a, the veil which separates the Shekhinah from the angels ; see Rashi 
on T.B. Jebamoth, 63b, catchword, '•^ii (body). The B.M. MS. reads 
here : " The seven angels which were created at the beginning, minis- 
ter before the veil which is spread before Him." See Coptic Apoc, 
p. 254, Eth. Enoch xc. 21 ; Rev. iv. 5 ; and T.B. Baba Mezia, 59a. 

* The Footstool of God represents Divine Justice and Love, which 
in their turn are symbolised by fire and hail; cf. Lam. ii. i, " He did 
not remember his footstool in the day of his anger." The ist ed. of 
our text reads: "His footstool is fire and hail flashing around His 
throne." See Slav. Enoch xxxvii. i. 

' See Ps. xcvii. 3. Origen, contra Celsum, iv. 13, discusses the fiery 
nature of God. 

« The Venice and Sabbioneta editions insert the following : " and 
the seven clouds of glory ^ surround it. And the whirling Ophan ^ and 
the Cherub and the Chajjah (living creature) are uttering praise before 
Him."» 

9 Cf. T.B. Chagigah, 13a. 

1" See Ezek. x. 14. On the Cherubim see Maimonides, Guide, iii. i flf. 
and cf. ibid. ch. xlv., and Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, i. 377 ff., 
where the N.T. and Patristic references are given. Speaking generally, 
the Patristic literature has much more to say concerning angels, good 
and bad, than Rabbinic literature. This can be easily seen by compar- 
ing the references in Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judentum or in Weber's 
Jiidische Theologie on the one hand and the index to Thalhofer's 
Bibliothek der Kirchenvdter, i. pp. 226-229, on the other. The state- 



1 On the seven clouds of glory, see Mekhilta, 24b, based on Ps. cv. 
39, and cf. J.E. iv. 123. The number 7 is in harmony with the notion 
of 7 heavens, 7 rivers around the Holy Land, the 7 planets (T.B. Baba 
Bathra, 74b), 7 portals to Gehenna, the 7 archangels, etc. ; and cf. infra, 
p. 140. Eth. Enoch Ixxvii. 4-8 .speaks of 7 mountains, 7 rivers, and 
7 islands. See also Ps. xcvii. 2. 

2 Ophan (or wheel) occurs in Ezek. x. 13; this is identified by 
P.R.E. with the Galgal ('?3'?J) or whirling wheel. 

3 See Ezek. i. 24 and iii. 12 f. with Targum, The B.M. MS. adds 
tiere: " They are the Cherubim/' 



24 



RABBI ELIEZER 



has four wings, as it is said, " And every one had four 
faces and four wings" (Ezck. i. 6), and these (Chajjoth) are 
the Cherubim. 

When 1 He || speaks towards the west He speaks between 
the two Cherubim with the face of the ox, when He speaks 
towards the north He speaks between the two Cherubim 
with the face of an eagle. 

Over against them - are the Ophanim (Wheels) and the 
Whirling Wheels of the Chariot,^ and when He looketh 

ment on the subject in Hastings' Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 
i. 57, " The Jews believed all that the N.T. says of angels, but 
they also believed much more, " needs revision. The Church is more 
concerned with angels in its liturgy and ritual than the Synagogue. 

^ The first editions add the following : " when He speaks towards 
the east He speaks between the two Cherubim with the face of a 
man, and when He speaks towards the south He speaks between 
the two Cherubim with the face of a lion. " See Ezek. i. lo. The 
scheme indicated seems to be as follows : — 



NORTH. 



Man. 



Ox. 



Lion. 



Eagle. I £<ig' 



■le. 



Lion. 



WEST. 



Ox. 



Ox. 



Mati. 



Man. 



EAST. 



Eagle. 



Lion. I Lion. 



Eagle. 



Man. 



Ox 



SOUTH. 

* The Cherubim. 

^ The Merkabah (n3::io) or Chariot is described in Ezek. i. and x. 
See T.B. Chagigah, 14b, Maimonides, Guide, iii. 1-7, and cf. Ecclus. xlix. 
8, and ] .E. viii. 498 If . The mystery of the Chariot is also referred to 
by Eth. Enoch xiv. iS. and Origen, contra Celsum, vi. r8. Sec also 
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, i. 377 f. and v. 644. The Venice 
edition adds: "When He sits He is upon the throne high and 
exalted." 



CREATION ON THE SECOND DAY 25 

upon the earth His chariots are upon the Ophanim, and 
owing to the noise caused by the whirhng wheels of the 
Chariot — hghtnings and thunder go forth into the world.^ 
When He dwells - in heaven He rideth upon a swift cloud. ^ 
When He hastens He flies upon the wings of the wind, as 
it is said, " And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly ; yea, 
he flew swiftly upon the wings of the wind " (Ps. xviii. 10). 
The Chajjoth stand next to the throne of His glory and 
they do not know the place of His glory.^ The Chajjoth 
stand in awe and dread,^ in fear and trembling, and from 
the perspiration of their faces a river of fire arises and goes 
forth '^ before Him, as it is said, " A fiery stream issued and 
came forth from before him . . ." (Dan. vii. 10). And 
the wings of Gallizur "^ the angel, who stands next to the 
Chajjoth, (are spread forth) so that the fire which consumes 
the fire of the angels should not burn (them). Two Seraphim 
stand, one on His right and one on His left, each one has 
six wings, ^ with twain they cover their face ^ so as not to 
behold the presence of the Shekhinah, with twain they 
cover their feet so that they should not be seen before the 
presence of the Shekhinah, || so that the standing of the foot 
of the calf ^^ might be forgotten. With twain do they fly, 

1 See Ps. Ixxvii. i8. 

2 This is omitted in the Cambridge Genizah and in the first editions. 
^ The Venice edition adds : " as it is said, ' And he rode upon a cherub, 

and did fly ' " (Ps. xviii. lo). A more appropriate quotation would be : 
" Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud " (Isa. xix. i). 

* This is wanting inthe Oxford MS. (d. 35). 

^ A parallel text with deviations occurs in Singer, pp. 38 and 130. 
See also Liturgy, Second Day of New Year, ed. Heidenheim, p. 36a. 

* See T.B. Chagigah, 13b; of. Eth. Enoch Ixxi. 6 and xiv. 18 f.: 
" And I looked and saw a lofty throne ; its appearance was as crystal, 
and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of 
cherubim. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming 
fire, so that I could not look thereon." The N.T. speaks of the 
heavenly throne; see Rev. i. 4, iii. 21, iv. 2 ; cf. Gen. Rab. Ixxviii. i. 

^ The whole of this sentence is missing in the printed texts. Gallizur, 
as the name of an angel, occurs in Pesikta Rabbathi, § xx. p. 97b ; 
Jerahmeel, Iii. 8 ; and Liturgy, Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly, ed. 
Heid' nhcim, p. 20b. 

^ The B.M. MS. adds here : " as it is said, ' Above him stood the 
Seraphim ; each one had six wings ' " (Isa. vi. 2). 

8 Our text agrees with the B.M. MS., and this reading has been 
preserved in Jalkut on Isaiah, § 404 ; see also Lev. Rab. xxvii. 3, and 
Tanchuma, Emor, § viii. The ist and 2nd eds. read : " With twain does 
each one cover his face." 

1" The foot of the Cherub was like that of the calf (see Ezek. i. 7) ; this 
might recall the sin of the Golden Calf. See T.B. Chagigah, loc. cif. 



26 RABBI ELIEZER 

praising and reverencing, and they sanctify.^ One answers 
and another calls,'- one calls and another answers, and they 
say, " Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts ; the whole 
earth is full of his glory " (Isa. vi. 3).^ 

The Chajjoth stand at the side of the throne of His glory 
and they do not know the place of His glory ; ' they respond 
and say in every place where His glory '' is, " Blessed be 
the glory of the Lord from his place " (Ezek. iii. 12). Israel,^ 
a nation unique on the carth,^ declares daily " the unity of 
His great Name, saying, " Hear, O Israel : the Lord is our 
God, the Lord is one " (Deut. vi. 4). He answers His people 
Israel and says to them, I am the Lord your God who has 
delivered ^ you from every trouble.^" 

1 These words are similar to the first words of the Kedushah (Sancti- 
fication) ; see Singer, p. i6o, and cf . Ps. Ixxxix. 7. The Sephardic Liturgy 
is somewhat different, its phraseology for this part of the Prayer Book 
being probably based on Isa. xxix. 23. For the Kedushah see Ezek. 
xxxvi. 23 ; Isa. vi. 3 ; Ex. Rab. xv. 6 and Lev. Rab. ii. 8. The Venice 
edition adds: " His Great Name." The B.M. MS. reads here: "And 
they stand near the throne of His glory and do not know the place of 
His glory, as it is said, 'Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place ' 
(Ezek. iii. 12), and the Chajjoth stand in awe and dread," etc., as 
above. 

2 See Jalkut on Isaiah, loc. cit., andT.B. Chullin, 91b, for the angelic 
sanctification. ' The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " One calls and they 
all reply and say." 

3 This is the end of the 7th section in the MS. On the theme see 
Slav. Enoch xxi. i. 

* The reading seems to be corrupt, and should run : " The Chajjoth 
respond and say," etc. The first part of the sentence has already 
been given at the beginning of the preceding paragraph. 

* On the" Glory " see Abelson, The Immanence of God in Rabbinic 
Literature, p. 380 ff. The Place of God's glory is identified by P.R.E. 
with the Shekhinah ; see infra, p. 225, not^' 9, and ci. Eth. Enoch xxxix. 
12-1^. 

« The 9th section in the MS. begins here. 

'These words occur in the 'Amidah for Sabbath afternoon; see 
Singer, p. 175. 

* The Oxford MS. (d. 35) adds: " continually every day twice." 
» The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " who redeems." 

i» The many parallels in our text lo Eth. Enoch xiv. Q-22, and Slav. 
Enoch xxi. i and xxii. 1-3 are noteworthy, and point to the influence 
which the prscudepigraphic books b.ave had upon our author. The 
latter part of this chapter is of importance in connection with the 
liturgy of the Synagogue. We note how the threefold responses of 
the kedushali are set forth here as the responses of (i) the angels, 
(2) Israel, and (3) God; compare Singer, pp. 160 f. The writer of the 
MS. did not end the chapter here, but continued with the next chapter. 
A later scribe has added in the margin, " Chapter V.," thus agreeing with 
other MSS. and the printed editions. Our cliapur should be compared 
with the Mcrkabah Midrashim in the first two vohini;s of Wertheimer's 
BotU' Midrashofh. 



CHAPTER V 

THE GATHERING OF THE WATERS [5a. i.J 

On the third day ^ all the earth was flat like a plain and 
the waters covered the surface of all the earth. When the 
word of the Almighty 2 was uttered, " Let the waters be 
gathered together " (Gen. i. 9), the mountains and hills arose 
from the ends of the earth and they were scattered ^ over 
the surface of all the earth, and valleys were formed over the 
inner parts of the earth ; and the waters were rolled together 
and gathered into the valleys, as it is said, " And the 
gathering together of the waters he called seas " {ibid. 10).^ 
Forthwith the waters became proud ^ and they arose to 
cover the earth as at first, when the Holy One, blessed be 
He, rebuked them || and subdued them,« and placed them 
beneath the soles of His feet,^ and measured them with 

1 Of the week of creation. Our Book agrees here with the Book of 
Jubilees, which states : " And on the third dav He commanded the 
waters to pass from off the face of the whole earth" (ii. 5). Cf. 
Ps. civ. 6, according to which the mountains were beneath the water, 
the surface of which was like a plain. 

2 Jalkut, Gen. § 8, reads : " The Holy One, blessed be He." 

3 The gathering of the waters revealed the hills and valleys which 
had hitherto been covered by the water. 

* In the MS. the tenth paragraph (of the fourth chapter) is marked 
here. For a parallel text see Wertheimcr, op. cit., 1. p. 6. 

^ The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " The waters became insolent and 
attempted to ascend to Heaven as at first until He rebuked and sub- 
dued them and placed them beneath the soles of His feet, as it is said : 
' Who maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters' " 
(Isa. xhii. 16). The first editions agree with our MS. 

« See Ps. civ. 7, Job xxxviii. 8-10, and Prov. viii. 29. Eth. 
Enoch offers a parallel: " the sea was created, and as its founda- 
tion He set for it the sand against the time of anger, and it dare 
not pass beyond it from the creation of the world unto eternity " 
(Ixix. 18). 

' See Job ix. 8, Ps. Ixxvii. 19, and Shocher Tob, Ps. xciii. 5, where 
our text is preserved ; cf. Midrash Konen, p. 25.' The ist ed. {P.R.E.) 
reads: "and He subdued them beneath the ends of His feet." The 

n 



28 RABBI ELIEZER 

the hollow of His hand ^ that they should neither decrease 
nor increase. He made the sand as the boundary of the 
sea, just like a man who makes a fence for his vineyard. 
When they rise and sec the sand before them they return 
to their former place,- as it is said, " Fear ye not me ? 
saith the Lord ^ : will ye not tremble at my presence, 
which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea ? " 
(Jer. V. 22). 

Before the waters were gathered together the depths ' 
were created. These are the depths wliich arc beneath 
the earth ; for the earth is spread ' upon the water like a 
ship which floats in the midst of the sea, so likcAvise is the 
earth spread out over the water, as it is said, " To him 
that spread forth the earth above the waters ..." 
(Ps. cxxxvi. 6). He opened an entrance to the Garden of 
Eden "^ because thence were planted upon the face of all 

Midrash should be compared with Tanchuma. Chukkath, § i, and see 
T.B. BabaBathra, 74b. The subject has been discussed by Jampel in 
the Mondsschrift, 1912, p. 148. 

^ See Isa. xl. 12. 

2 See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 10. 

' The second half of the verse is not given in the MS., which reads 
" etc." 

* The Venice edition adds the words " the luminaries " before the 
words " the depths." This is clearly a mistake. 

* Jalkut Makhiri to Psalms (Ps. cxxxvi. ri) reads: "the earth 
floats upon the depths." The text of this section in the Jalkut is 
more correct than tlie printed editions of P.R.E. 

* This agrees with the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. i. : " And 
to the north of the garden there is a .sea of water." See Jalkut Makhiri 
{loc. cit.) for a parallel to our text. The Venice edition differs slightly 
from the ist ed. and reads: "The entrance to the Garden of Eden 
opened therein and He brought forth thence plants upon the face of all 
the earth." This 5tli chapter is devoted to the account of the creation 
on the third day. Thus far we find the following things enumerated : 
(i) the gathering of the waters, (2) the appearance of the mountains 
and hills, (3) the transference of the plants and trees from the Garden 
of Eden, and we shall have (4) an account of the mists and clouds 
which water the face of the earth. The Book of Jubilees seems to 
offer a parallel : (i) " And the dry land appeared, and on that day 
He created for them (2) all the seas according to their separate gathering- 
places, and all the rivers, and the gathering of the waters in the 
mountains and on all the earth and all the lakes, (3) and all the dew 
of the earth, (4) and the seed which is sown, and all sprouting things, 
and fruit-bearing trees, and trees of the wood, and the Garden of Eden 
in Eden, and all (plants after their kind). These four great works 
God created on the third <lay " (ii. 6, 7). It seems strange that both 
books in connection with the third day refer to the Garden of Eden, 
especially as our book has already dealt with this as one of the pre- 
mundane creations. According to Gen. Rab. xv. 3 the Garden of Eden 
was created before the creation of man, who was created on the sixth 



THE GATHERING OF THE WATERS 29 

the earth all kinds of trees yielding fruit according to their 
kind, and all kinds of herbs and grass ^ thereof, and in 
them (was seed), as it is said, " Wherein is the seed thereof, 
upon the earth " (Gen. i. 11). 

He prepared a table for the creatures whilst as yet they 
were not created,^ as it is said, " Thou preparest a 
table before me" (Ps. xxiii. 5). All the fountains arise 
from the depths to give water to all creatures.^ Rabbi 
Joshua said : The diameter ^ of the earth is equal to a journey 
of sixty years,^ and one of the depths which is near to 
Gehinnom bubbles with water and produces water '^ for the 
delight of the sons of man. 

Rabbi Jehudah !| said : Once every month ducts ' rise 
from the depths to irrigate the face of all the earth, as it 
is said, " And there went up a mist from the earth and 
watered ^ the whole face of the ground " (Gen. ii. 6).'-^ The 
clouds cause the seas to hear the sound of their waterspouts,^" 
and the seas cause the depths to hear the sound of their 
waterspouts, and the deep calls to the deep to bring up 
waters to give them to the clouds, as it is said, " Deep 

day, whereas Eden was created on the third day. This tradition 
is preserved in Slavonic Enoch (A and B) xxx. i and in the Book of 
Adam and Eve (cd. Malan), loc. cit. 

1 The Venice edition adds: " He planted thereof, and in them was 
their s^ed upon the earth." 

- The reading in the first editions is: " whilst as yet the world was 
not created." This " table " is not one of the premundane creations; 
seeT.B. Synhedrin, 38a, based on Prov. ix. 1-3, and cf. Lev. Rab. xi. i. 
Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa in the fourth century c.e., has a similar 
Midrash in his work de Hominis opificio, 2 ; see also Slav. Enoch (B) 
xxx. I. 

3 See Ps. civ. 10-13. 

* On this theme see T.B. Pesachim, 94a, and Gen. Rab. iv. 5, and see 
Theodor's notes on p. 29 of his edition for further parallels. 

* Oxford MS. (2835, c. 27) reads "five hundred years"; cf. T.J. 
Beraklioth, 2C ; T.B. Chagigah, 12a, and Gen. Rab. vi. 6. 

* The ist ed. reads: "and produces delight for the sons of man." 
On the subject referred to in the text see T.B. Sabbath, 39a. 

' Our text is preserved in Jalkut to Psalms (Ps. xlii. § 744). On 
"Silonoth" (ducts) see Jastrow, T.D. 979b. Gaster, Jerahmeel li. 5, 
renders here " rivulets ascend from the depths," etc. 

* The rest of the verse is not given by the MS., whicii reads 
"etc." 

^ The LXX renders this verse : " But a fountain ascended out of 
the earth " ; see Hellenism and Chvistianity , p. 25 note, 

!•* See Jalkut Makhiri, Psalms (Ps. xlii. 16), where our text occurs 
with variant readings; thus, instead of " Zinorothiham," which means 
" their splashing," or " duct," or " spout," we find " Kinorothiham " 
(" their harps "). 



30 RABBI ELIEZER 

callcth unto deep at the sound of thy waterspouts " (Ps. 
xlii. 7).i 

The clouds draw water from the depths, as it is said, 
" He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends - of 
the earth " {ibid, cxxxv. 7), and in every place where the 
King commands them,^ there they cause rain (to fall), 
and forthwith the earth becomes fruitful and yields produce 
like a widow who becomes pregnant through debauchery.'' 
But when the Holy One, blessed be He, desires to bless the 
produce of the earth,^ and to gi\'e provision to the creatures,^ 
He opens the good treasuries in heaven and sends rain 
upon the earth, namely, the fructifying rain,^ and forthwith 
the earth becomes fruitful like a bride who conceives from 
her first husband and produces offspring of blessing, as it is 
said, " The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasury 
the heaven " ^ (Deut. xxvni. 12). 

' See T.B. Taanith, 25b, for the application of this verse in con- 
nectio n with the water ceremonies on the Feast of Tabernacles. 

^ Where originally the water was. 

^ See Job xxxvii. 11-13. The rain illustrates the working of 
Divine Providence ; cf. Jer. xiv. 22. 

* This rain would not be the rain of blessing, cf. T.B. Taanith, 6b. 

* See Ps. Ixv. 9, 10, and cf. T.B. Taanith, 8b. 

* This phrase does not occur in the ist ed. See Ps. cxxxii. 15. 
'The rain from heaven is full of vitalizing power; see infra, pp. 

63 and 167. The actual expression in our context is " the masculine 
waters." Eth. Enoch liv. 8 offers a parallel: "And all the waters 
shall be joined with the waters, that which is above the heavens is 
the masculine, and the water which is beneath the earth is feminine." 
See Charles' interesting note (8) on p. 107 of his edition, where he 
quotes T.J. Berakhoth, ix. 2, " the upper water is male and 
the lower water is female." 

* The verse continues: " To give the rain of thy land in its season 
and to bless all the work of thy hand." This is given in the B.M. MS. 
The 1st ed. and later editions add : " and it is written, ' ior as a young 
man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee ' ' (Isa. Ixii. 3), and 
it is written, ' For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven.^ 
. . . and watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and 
giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater ' " (ibid. Iv. 10). 

' See T.B. Moed Katan, 2a, where this verse is explained as in our 
context. On " rain " see Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, iv. 195 f., and 
Krauss, Talmudische Archdologie, ii. 149 f. Interesting references to 
rain occur in Eth. Enoch apart from the quotation given in note above, 
namely, Ix. 21 If., and in the previous verse " the chambers of the 
rain " are mentioned. 

^ The latter part of the verse is not given by the printed texts, 
which merely add "etc." 



CHAPTER VII 

THE PLANETS ; THE COURSE OF THE SUN [5b. i.] 

On the fourth day He connected together - the two himin- 
aries,^ of which one was not greater (in size) than the other.* 
They were equal ^ as regards their height,*^ || qualities,' and 
illuminating powers,^ as it is said, " And God made the 
two great lights" (Gen. i. 16). Rivalry ensued between 
them, one said to the other, I am bigger than thou art. 
The other rejoined, I am bigger than thou art. 

What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do,^ so that 
there should be peace between them ? He made the one 
larger and the other smaller,^" as it is said, " The greater 
light to rule the day,^^ and the lesser light to rule the night 
and the stars he also made " (ibid.).^- 

1 In our MS. the fifth chapter begins here. 

' The B.M. MS. reads here " created." The word in the printed 
texts means " associated " or "joined." On the legend see Gen. Rab. 
vi. 3 and T.B. ChuUin, 6ob, which is translated in Rabbinic Philosophy 
and Ethics, pp. 12 f. ; and see Pal. Targum, Gen. i. 16. 

^ The first editions read : " the two great luminaries." 

* This legend occurs in Eth. Enoch Ixxii. 37, " but as regards size 
they are both equal," and cf. Slavonic Enoch xvi. 7. Our text reads 
(if taken quite literally) : " This one was not greater than that one, 
and that one was not greater than this one." 

* The equality was implied in the words of the Scripture, " the 
two great lights." The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " but the two of 
them were equal as though they were one." 

* Above the earth, or firmament. ' e.g. they have the same shape. 

* The Pal. Targ. Gen. i. 16 offers a parallel here. 

* The B.M. MS. adds : " to restore peace between them. He made the 
one smaller because it had slandered its companion." See Gen. Rab. vi. 3. 

1° See T.B. Chullin, loc. cif., and cf. 3 Baruch ix. 7. The Midrash 
is also preserved in the Machzor Vitry, p. 154, reading of the Sabbath 
morning liturgy. Cf. Singer, p. 129. See also B&er's 'Abodaih Israel, 
p. 212, note, for the reading in the Tur : "and He diminished (I'lipni) 
the figure of the moon." 

" The MS. does not give the second half of the verse, it merely reads 
" etc." 

1- See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 12 f. 

31 



32 



RABBI ELIEZER 



All the stars minister^ to the seven planets,- and their 
names are : Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, 
Mars.^ The mnemonic of their service is KZNSh ChLM, 
by night; ChLM KZNSh by day and KLSh ZMChN 
for the hours of the night ; ChNKL ShZM for the hours 
of the day.^ On the first day Mercury and the Sun, 
on the second day Jupiter and the Moon, on the third day 
Venus and Mars, on the fourth day Saturn and Mercury, 
on the fifth day the Sun and Jupiter, on the sixth day the 
Moon and Venus, on the seventh day Mars and Saturn.^ 



^ The word in the text may mean serve, or minister to the needs 
of, or to be in attendance on others, or to be placed over, hence to 
influence, or rule. 

2 Lit. " Stars of the hours." The ist ed. reads, " the seven stars 
and all the hours," but subsequent editions read, " the seven stars of 
the hours." The first editions give the names in the following order : 
Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, and Venus. These 
editions continue : " And they minister to the seven days of the 
week." The idea implied is that each planet influences the world for 
one hour by day and by night. Thus — 



At 6 o'clock, Saturday Night (when the first day of the 

week begins), Mercury (K) rules, and again at i a.m.^ 
Satordav, 7 p.m., the Moon (L) rules, and at 2 ,, 



8 

9 
10 
II 
12 



Saturn (Sh) 
Jupiter (Z) 
Mars(M) 
the Sun (Ch) 
Venus (N) 



Sunday Morning — 
• The Sun (Ch) rules at 6 a.m. 



•< 



v.n 



At 6 p.m. Sunday, Jupiter (Z) 

,, Monday, Venus (N) ,, 

Tuesday, vSaturn (Sh) ,, 
Wednesday, the Sun (Ch) ,, 
Thursday, the Moon (L) ,, 
Friday, Mars (M) ,, 



Venus (N) ,, 7 >. 

Mercury (K) ,, 8 ,, 

Moon (L) ,, 9 ,, 

Saturn (Sh) ,, 10 ,, 

Jupiter (Z) ,, 11 ,, 

Mars (M) „ 12 noon. 

rules, and at 6 a.m. Monday, the Moon (L) rules. 

,, „ ,, Tuesday, Mars (M) 

,, ,, ,, Wednesday, Mercury (K) 

Thursday, Jupiter (Z) 

Friday, Venus (N) 

Saturday, Saturn (Sh) 



The Jewish day begins at 6 p.m. {i.e. six hours earlier than the usual 
time in vogue in this country). For full explanation see Rashi on 
T.B. Berakhoth, 59b, and on T.B. 'Erubin, 56a. The seven planets 
are mentioned in the Scpher Jezirah iv. 7 by the same names as in 
our text. See also Baraitha d. Shcmucl, ch. iii. 

^ The seven planets in the order of the text are represented by the 
following letters: Ch (Sun), N (Venus), K (Mercury), L (Moon), Sh 
(Saturn), Z (Jupiter), M (Mars). The letters represent the Hebrew 
names of the planets. 

^ The whole of this sentence is missing in the printed editions. 

* The seven planets were believed to move in seven different orbits ; 
see Philo, op. cit. 38, i. M. 27, C.VV. i. 112. Origen, contra Celsum, vi. 21, 
speaks of " the spheres of the planets." In the next chapter of Origen 
we hear of the mysteries of Mithras, and in connection with the rites 
of this cult the seven planets are mentioned. The order is as follows: 
Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, the Moon, the Sun. This is 
exactly the reverse order of iho mm inoiiic in our text for Uic service 
of the planets by day. In chapter xxxi. Origen deals with the " ruling 



PLANETS; COURSE OF THE SUN 33 

All of them minister to the twelve constellations ^ which 
correspond to the twelve months. The constellations are : 
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, 
Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces.- All the 
constellations minister to ^ the days of the sun.'' Now the 
days of the solar month are 30 days, 10 hours and a half,^ 

spirits" accepted by the teaching of the Gnostics; these "ruling 
spirits " are the seven planets. The system has fortunately been 
preserved in the Pisiis Sophia (ed. Mead), pp. 360 ff. The Church 
Father John of Damascus, in his Doctrine of Faith, ii. 7, also men- 
tions the seven planets. See also Hippolytus, Philosophumena, iv. 
6ff. 

1 i.e. the Zodiac. On this subject see John of Damascus, loc. cit., 
and cf. J.E. iv. 244 f. Slavonic Enoch xxx. reads : " The sun that 
he should go according to each sign of the Zodiac ; and the course of 
the moon through the twelve signs of the Zodiac," and see Eth. Enoch 
Ixxiii.-lxxiv. 

2 The first editions add : " These {i.e. the constellations) were created 
in the work of the Creation to rule the world, and thus are their 
ordinances. And these seven servants ^ were created, and He placed 
them in the firmament of the heavens." - Our MS. agrees here with the 
Oxford MS. (d. 35). 

^ Perhaps the word should be rendered "serve" ; see supra, p. 32, 
note I. Caster's Jerahmeel iv. 2 has " rules " in reference to the sun, 
and " serves " in connection with the other planets. 

* Does this mean that the constellations influence the months, there 
being twelve constellations corresponding to the twelve months ? 
Perhaps the reference is to the fact that the sun is in each constella- 
tion for 30 days, 10 hours, 30 minutes {i.e. a solar month). The Oxford 
MS. (d. 35) reads, " the days of the solar year." The Venice edition 
reads : " the days of the solar month." According to John of 
Damascus {loc. cit.)— 



The sun 


enters Aries on March 21st. 


9i 




Taurus ,, April 23 rd. 


J» 




Gemini ,, May 24th. 


l> 




Cancer „ June 24th. 


91 




Leo ,, July 25th. 


Jt 




Virgo ,, August 25th. 


9> 




Libra ,, September 25th. 


it 




Scorpio ,, October 25th. 


tf 




Sagittarius ,, November 25th. 


n 




Capricornus , , December 25th. 


>9 




Aquarius ,, January 25th. 
Pisces „ February 24th. 



The ist ed. adds " Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn. Sun, 
Moon, Saturn, and Mercury minister to each constellation 30 (days) 
4 hours like an attendant, and just as the Sun and Moon and Mercury 
enter simultaneously." The text is evidently corrupt. 

^ The ist ed. adds here : " and during the days of the lunar month 
two constellations serve for four days and eight hours." The meaning 
is not evident. 4 days, 8 hours x 7=30 days, 8 hours. 

1 i.e. the plan:ts. 

2 Each one in its own orbit. 



34 RABBI ELIEZER 

and each constellation ministers to the || days of the solar 
month for two days and a half, so that two constellations 
(minister for) five days.^ The chief - which begins at the 
beginning of the solar month is the same chief which com- 
pletes ^ at the end of the solar month ; the one which opens 
is the one which closes.'' 

The great cycle of the sun is 28 years,^ and therein are 
seven small cycles each of four years. ^ The number of 
days of the solar year ' is 365 and a quarter of a day. The 
seasons® of the solar year are four, each season (consisting 
of) 91 days 7| hours. The beginnings of the cycles of the 
seasons are the 4th, 2nd, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, and 6th (days).^ 
Between each cycle there are 5 days and 6 (hours). ^° 

1 The sense to be conveyed seems to be that in a solar month every 
2j days is under the influence of a constellation, the last loi hours 
being reckoned as part of the service of the constellation which is next 
in order to that constellation which was placed over the last 2.1 days 
of the month. We shall see that each constellation is served by the 
Moon for 2.V days, or, as John of Damascus says [loc. cit.), " The Moon 
passes through the twelve constellations in each month." 

* i.e. the constellation. 

^ This would then mean that the next constellation begins its influ- 
ence at the beginning of the next solar month. 

* It seems that the last loi hours of the solar month are under the in- 
fluence of the constellation which ruled at the beginning of that month. 

» See T.B. Berakhoth, loc. cit. ; T.B. Sabbath, 129b, with Rashi. 

' The order of the planets which bepin the .seven small cycles 
respectively is Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and 
the Moon, a cycle of four years being supposed to elapse between the 
beginning of the rule of each of these plancls. 

' 1st ed. reads " solar years," the later texts read " the sun." 

* Tekuphah ; see Jewish Calendar, 1915-16, edited by the present 
writer, pp. 31, 35, etc., for the Tekuphah. The word means " turn," or 
" cycle " ; cf. Ex. xxxiv. 22 and Ps. xix. 6. It means in our book season, 
or (i) vernal equinox, or (2) the summer solstice, or (3) the autumnal 
equinox, or (4) the winter solstice. See Rashi on T.B. Berakhoth, loc. 
cit. where we learn that the first Tekuphah of Nisan at the Creation was 
on the fourth day (Wednesday). Can Jubilees i. 14 and ii. 9 refer 
to Tekuphah ? See Pal. Targ. Gen. i. 14, which reads : " And God 
said : Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens, to distinguish 
between the day and the night ; and let them be for signs and seasons 
for festivals and for the numbering by them of the calculation of the days 
and for the sanctification by them of new moons and new years, (for) 
intercalations of months and intercalations of years and Tekuphoth 
of the Sun and the Molad of the Moon and cycles." Etheridge's version 
{The Targums, i. p. 159) is inaccurate. 

* The seven days respectively of the seven small cycles. The 
Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " The Tekuphoth are at the beginning of the 
night of the fourth day, the beginning of the night of the second day " 
. . . concluding with " the beginning of the night of the sixth day." 

"> Is the text faulty here ? The interval of five days is apparent from 
the preceding sentence in the text. 



PLANETS; COURSE OF THE SUN 35 

The Tekuphoth {i.e. seasons) of the small cycle are four 
in each year, some of them (last) 91 days 7^ hours and some 
last 92 days.^ The first year of the cycle (of four years) 
has its Tekuphah in Nisan at 6 p.m. ; in the second year 
at 12 p.m. ; in the third year at 6 a.m. ; in the fourth year 
at 12 a.m. 2 

The four beginnings of the Tekuphah of the four months 
of Nisan ^ commence at the beginning of the night/ at 
midnight, at the beginning of the day,^ and at noon (re- 
spectively). The rest of the other (days of the) || Tekuphoth 
are as follows : ZCh ; GYCh ; VACh ; TDCh.« 

The first Tekuphah of Nisan ' took place at the beginning 

' This means that the year equals 4 xgi days, 7I hours =365^ days. 
The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " Some of them (last) 91 days and some 
of them 92 days." This reading seems preferable to our text and seems 
to point to 366 days in the year, i.e. two seasons of 91 days each and 
two of 92 days each. Luria rejects the reading, " Some of them (last) 
92 days." 

2 Luria's reading in the latter part of Note 22, in loc, has been 
adopted, as the MS. text seems to be unintelligible. The MS. reads : The 
first year of the cycle is A-G (ist and 3rd letters of the Hebrew alpha- 
bet) ; the second year is B-B (2nd letter of Hebrew alphabet) ; the 
third year is GAD (3rd, ist, and 4th letters) ; the fourth year is DD. 
The reading adopted for the translation gives the following abbrevia- 
tions : A-A, B-V, G-A, D-V, where the first letters of each set 
refer to the ist, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years (of the small cycle) re- 
spectively ; the 2nd letters indicate the hours when the Tekuphoth 
of Nisan in the four years begin, namely : 6 p.m. (A), 12 p.m. (V), 
6 a.m. (A), and 12 a.m. (V). 

3 In each cycle of four years. 

* The Jewish day consists of night, lasting 12 hours, which 
begins at 6 p.m., and day, lasting 12 hours and commencing at 
6 a.m. 

^ i.e. 6 a.m. 

• ZCh = 7th and 8th letters of Hebrew alphabet. 
GYCh=3rd, loth, and 8th letters of Hebrew alphabet. 
VACh=6th, ist, and 8th letters of Hebrew alphabet. 
TDCh=9th, 4th, and 8th letters of Hebrew alphabet. 

Ch (8th letter) is an abbreviation for the word ('sn) meaning " half." 
The abbreviations mean : — 

When the Tekuphah of Nisan is the ist hour (A) of the night, 
i.e. at 6 p.m., the Tekuphah of Tammuz is 7^ hours (^Ch) later, i.e. 
1.30 a.m. The Tekuphah of Tishri is at 3 hours of the day (G), i.e. 
g a.m., and the Tekuphah of Tebeth is io| hours of the day (YCh), i.e. 
4.30 p.m. Again, when the Tekuphah of Nisan is the 6th hour, i.e. mid- 
night (V), the Tekuphah of Tammuz is i^ hour of the day (ACh), i.e. 7.30 
a.m., and the Tekuphah of Tishri is 9 hours of the day (T), i.e. 3 p.m., 
and the Tekuphah of Tebeth is 4^ hours of the following night (DCh), 
i.e. at 10.30 p.m.i 

' At the era of the Creation. 

1 See T.B. 'Erubin, loc. cit. 



36 RABBI ELTEZER 

(of the hours) of Saturn.' The Tekuphah of Tammu?: (took 
place) at the middle (of the hours) of Saturn.- The Tekuphah 
of Tishri (occurred) at the beginning of the hours of Jupiter.^ 
The Tekuphah of Tebcth (took place) at the middle (of the 
hours) of Jupiter. ' And thus with all the other Tekuphoth, 
which occur at the beginning of the hours or at the middle 
of the hours.'' 

The first cycle ^ took place at the beginning of the hour 
of Saturn, (and the names of the Planets of the hours are) 
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the 
Moon. The second cycle occurred in the hour (of the Planet) 
which is in front of it,' (i.e.) at the beginning of the hour 
of Jupiter. The third cycle occurred at the beginning of 
the hour of Mars. The fourth cycle entered at the 
beginning of the hour of the Sun. The fifth cycle entered 
at the beginning of the hour of Venus. The sixth cycle 
entered at the beginning of the hour of Mercury. The 
seventh cycle entered at the beginning (of the hour) of the 
Moon. (At) the end of seven hours,^ at the end of seven cycles, 

* Saturn is the planet for the eve of the fourth day at 6 o'clock p.m. 

on Tuesday. See supra, p- 3-, note 2. 

* yi hours later is still the hour of Saturn ; this would be at 1.30 a.m. 
Wednesday. 

^ jh hours later is the hour of Jupiter at 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

* 7I hours later is still in Jupiter at 4.30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. 
' This refers to the service of the planets over the hours, as can 

be seen from the notes above; the two Tekuphoth are either at the 
beginning or at the middle of the hours. 

* Of the seven Tekuphoth cycles referred to above, the first begins 
on the fourth day, i.e. Wednesday (which commences on Tuesday at 
6 p.m., which is the hour of Saturn). 

' In reference to the position of its orbit around the earth as centre. 
In this connection the position of the planets is as follows : nearest 
to the earth we have the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, 
Jupiter, Saturn. 

* It has been suggested by R. Elijah of Vilna that this reference 
to the seven hours should be omitted. Perhaps the readirr^ should 
be "At the end of the seven planets of the hours," i.e. tlie cvcle re- 
commences with Saturn. The Tekuphoth of Nisan are as follows : — 

1234 years. 

1. Wednesday 6.0 p.m. 
Thursday 12.0 p.m. 

Friday 6.0 a.m. 

Saturday 12.0 a.m. 

5678 years. 

2. Monday 6.0 p.m. 

Tuesday 12.0 p.m. 

Wednesday 6.0 a.m. 

Thursday 12.0 a.m. 



PLANETS ; COURSE OF THE SUN 37 

at the end of 35 days ^ of the great cycle of 28 years, the 
Tekuphah cycle returns (i.e. begins again) at the beginning 
of the fourth day ^ in the hour of Saturn in the hour when 
it was created. 

In 366 (degrees) ^ the sun rises and declines, it rises 
183 (degrees) || in the east, and it declines 183 (degrees) in 
the west corresponding to the 365 ^ days of the solar year. 
(The sun) goes forth through 366 ^ apertures and enters by 

The third cycle falls on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday 
at 6 and 12 p.m. and 6 and 12 a.m. respectively in the gth, loth, nth, 
and r2th years respectively. 

The fourth cycle falls on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 
at 6 and 12 p.m. and 6 and 12 a.m. respectively in the 13th, 14th, 
15th, and 1 6th years respectively. 

The fifth cycle falls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 
at 6 and 12 p.m. and 6 and 12 a.m. respectively in the 17th, i8th, 19th, 
and 20th years respectively. 

The sixth cycle falls on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 
at 6 and 12 p.m. and 6 and 12 a.m. respectively in the 21st, 22nd, 
23rd, and 24th years respectively. 

The seventh cycle falls on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 
at 6 and 12 p.m. and 6 and 12 a.m. respectively in the 25th, 26th, 27th, 
and 28th years respectively. 

It must be borne in mind that the first two Tekuphoth of every 
cycle are p.m., and therefore the actual English day in these cases is 
nominally one daj' earlier than the Je\vish day. 

1 This is also the reading of the ist ed. Later editions are faulty, and 
read " 65 daj-s." The number 35 is due to 7 X5 days, the latter being 
the interval between each small cycle of four years, during which 
there are 16 Tekuphoth, and each Tekuphah is 7^ hours' interval later 
than its predecessor. 7=the number of cycles. 

^ Tuesday evening at six o'clock, when the fourth day (Wednesday) 
of the Hebrew week begins. 

* " Degrees " according to the reading in the first two editions. The 
1st ed. reads " 365 degrees." 

* In the MS. a later writer has written " 6 " above the " 5." The 
first editions read, " according to the days of the solar year." 

® The printed texts read 366 apertures. According to T.J. Rosh 
Ha-Shanah ii. 5, 58a, 1. 41 ff., " The Holy One, blessed be He, created 355 
windows for the service of the world : 182 in the east and 182 in the west 
and one in the centre of the firmament, whence it came forth at the 
beginning at the Creation." See also Ex. Rab. xv. 22: "The Holy 
One, blessed be He, created 365 windows in the firmament, 183 an 
the east and 182 on the west." "The Jalkut on i Kings, §185, compares 
the knops mentioned in i Kings vii. 24 to " the 365 windows which 
are in the east and in the west, for the sun rises in one in the east and 
sets in one in the west." This section of the Jalkut is taken from the 
Midrash Tadsheh (cf. Epstein, Midrash ladsaeh, p. xvi). Further 
parallels are to be found in Buber's Shocher Tob, Ps. xix. 11, and Jalkut 
on Psalms (xix.), § 673, and on Eccles. § 967. The astronomical theories 
of our book are not in agreement with the Rabbinical system set forth 
in the Talmud and Midrashim. It seems that our author held the view 
that the solar year had 366 days. Each half-year the sun passes 
through 91, plus 91, plus i apertures, or in one year through 366 



38 RABBI ELIEZER 

the east ; 90 days ^ it is in the south (east) quarter, 91 days 
in the north (east) quarter and one aperture is in the middle - 
and its name is Nogah.^ 

(At) the Tekuphah of Tishri ' (the sun) begins from the 
aperture of Nogah and goes through its revolutions towards 
the south quarter, through one aperture after another until 
it reaches the aperture of Bilgah.^ (At) the Tekuphah of 
Tebeth (the sun) begins from the aperture of Bilgah ^ and 
continues its course, returning backward through one 
aperture after another until it reaches the aperture of 
Ta'alumah,*' through which the light goes forth,' as it is 
said, " And the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light " 
(Job xxviii. 11). (At) the Tekuphah of Nisan (the sun) 
begins from the aperture of Ta alumah,^ and it ^ goes to the 
north quarter through one aperture after another until it 
reaches the aperture No'aman.^" (At) the Tekuphah of 
Tammu? (the sun) begins from the aperture No'aman and 
goes on its course, returning backwards through aperture 
after aperture until it reaches the aperture Cheder ^^ whence 
the whirlwind goes forth, as it is said, " Out of the chamber 

apertures. Now we find a parallel teaching in the Slavonic Enoch 
xiii. 2; " And I saw the six great gates open, each gate having sixty- 
one stadia." Thus far Text B. ; see Charles' ed.. p. 15, and cf. Eth. 
Enoch Ixxii. 2 ff. on the course of the sun. Here also " windows " are 
mentioned. The whole of this chapter should be read in comparison 
with our text. Eth. Enoch adopts the strange calculation that the 
solar year has 364 days, though he was acquainted with the year of 365 J 
days. Does our book attempt a new solution ? or, as I venture to 
suggest, did our author borrow from Slavonic Enoch ? This seems the 
most probable view. 

• The first editions read 91 days. This agrees with the Oxford 
MSS. (d. 35) and (O. 167) and also Caster's MS. 

* This aperture separates the 91 N.E. windows from the 91 S.E. 
windows, and the sum total equals 183, which agrees with our text : 
" it rises 183 (degrees) in the east." 

^ n:iu, or " Venus." The word means light. The Venice" edition 
reads " the aperture Nogah." 

* About the time of the autumnal equinox ; see J .E. xii. 76 f. The 
Tekuphah Tishri falls now on October 7th, about 14 daj's after the 
equinox. 

' The first editions read ('ht\2V) " Saturn." 

• Or " darkness." See Targum on Job xxviii. 11. 

' The quotation is not given by the Oxford MS. (d. 35). 

• The first editions add : " through which the light goeth forth." 

* The sun. 

*" Or " pleasantness." Nature is at her best at this period of the 
year. The MS. reads "Noaman," the first two editions read 
"Naamon." 

^* Or " secret chamber." 



PLANETS; COURSE OF THE SUN 39 

Cometh the storm ^ and cold out of the scattering winds " 
{ibid, xxxvii. 9). 

Through these apertures which are in the east (the sun) || 
goes forth and opposite to them^ in the west (the sun) 
sets. The Shekhinah is always in the west.^ (The sun) 
sets and worships ^ before the King of Kings, the Holy One, 
blessed be He, saying : Lord of all worlds ! I have done 
according to all that Thou hast commanded me.^ 

The aperture which is in the midst of the firmament is 
named M'^arim" and (the sun) does not go forth or set' 
therein except once in its great cycle ; ^ (thereon) it goes 
through it as on the day when it was created.^ At night 
the sun is in the west.^" At the Tekuphah of Tishri and at 
the Tekuphah of Tebeth the sun goes on its course in the 
south quarter and in the waters of the Ocean ^^ (which are) 
between the ends of the heavens and the ends of the earth 
where it is submerged, i- For the night is long and the way 
is long 1^ until (the sun) reaches the aperture which is in the 
east, (even) the aperture through which it desires to go 
forth,!* as it is said, " It goeth toward the south, and turneth 

^ The MS. omits the second half of the verse, substituting 
" etc." 

^ The apertures on the east. 

^ See T.B. Baba Bathra, 25a, and T.B. Synhedrin, 91b. 

* Lit. " bows down." 

^ See Deut. xxvi. 14 for phraseology. 

* Or " scattering winds." See Job xxxvii. 9 and Targum, in loc. 
' Lit. " does not go in or go out." 

* i.e. once in twenty-eight years. 

* The 1st ed. reads : " on the day when the world was created, on 
the day when it was created." 

1° i.e. when it sets. The Prague edition reads here : " on the day it 
was created at night and in the west." 

^1 See John of Damascus, op. cit. ii. 9, \vith reference to the ocean 
which surrounds the earth. 

" Or " where it sets." 

" To traverse half of the west, the north, and half of the east. The 
apparent risings of the sun are all in the east from the point of view 
of the spectator on the earth ; half the year the rising is south of the 
earth's equator, the other half of the year this is north of the equator ; 
thus the setting in the west corresponds to the rising, and accounts 
for the "long way " after setting in the winter. 

" At its next rising. The following reading is given by the first two 
editions : " At the Tekuphoth of Nisan and Tammuz the sun goes forth 
on its course to the north quarter to the waters of the Ocean which are 
between the ends of the heavens and the ends of the earth ; for the 
night is short and the way is short (after sunset) until it reaches 
the apertures which are in the east through which it desires to go 
forth." 



40 RABBI ELIEZER 

about unto the north " (Eccks, i. 6).^ It goes to the south 
at the Tckuphah of Tishri and at the Tckuphah of Tebeth, 
and turns to the north at the Tckuphah of Nisan and at the 
Tekuphah of Tammu?. It goes on its course for six months 
in the south quarter, and for six months in the north quarter, 
and owing to its circuits the sun "^ returns to the aperture 
which is in the east. The sun has three letters of (God's) 
Name written upon his heart,^ and the angels lead him;^ 
such II as lead him by day do not lead him by night, and such 
as lead him by night do not lead him by day. The sun 
rides in a chariot and rises, crowned as a bridegroom,^ as 
it is said, " AVhich is as a bridegroom coming out of his 
chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course " 
(Ps. xix, 5). The sun's rays and face, which are turned 
downwards (to the earth), are of hail ; *> and were it not for 
the hail which quenches the flames of fire -■ the world would 
be consumed by fire, as it is said, " And there is nothing 
hid from the heat thereof" {ibid. 6). In winter (the sun) 
turns the upper (half of) his face downwards,^ and were it 
not for the fire which warms the face of hail the world could 
not endure because of the ice (cold), as it is said, " Who 
can stand before his cold ? " {ibid, cxlvii. 17). These are 
the ends of the ways of the sun.** 

^ Ecclesiastes refers to the wind here, but our text applies this to 
the sun. See the Targum to this verse of Ecclesiastes. 

2 Lit. wind or quarter. See previous note. 

'See Jerahmeel iii. 4: "Three letters of the Ineffable Name of 
God are written upon the heart of the sun." The sun has three 
different terms in Hebrew. 

* Slav. Enoch xiv. 2-4 says: "When he (the sun) goes out by the 
Western gate four hundred angels take his crown and bring it to the 
Lord. And the sun revolves in his chariot . . . and when he comes 
near the east . . . the four hundred angels bring his crown and crown 
him." There is probably some connection between this passage and 
P.R.E. Eth. Enoch refers to the sun's chariot {Ixxii. 5). See also 
3 Baruch, ch. vi. i f. cd. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseiidepigrapha, ii. 
p. 536. This Apocalypse of Baruch offers also other parallels to our 
Midrash, see Introduction, and cf. J .E. ii. 550. 

* The first editions add : " and he gocth forth and rejoiceth like a 
strong man." 

• The 1st ed. reads : " The sun's rays and face which look downwards 
are of fire and his rays and face which look upwards are of hail." The 
Venice edition adds "to the earth" after "downwards.' See Eth. 
Enoch iv. 

^ The first editions read : " liis face of fire." 

" The first editions read : " the lower (half of) his face upwards, 
and were it not for the fire which warms the hail." 

• Compare with our text Eth. Enoch Ixxxii. 15-20. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE COURSE OF THE MOON [7a. i.] 

Rabban Jochanan ben Zakkai, Rabban Gamaliel, R. 
Ishmael, R. Ela?ar ben 'Arakh, R. Eliezer ben Hyrkanos, 
and R. 'Akiba - were expounding ^ (the laws of) the Molad ^ 
of the moon. They said : ^ The Holy One, blessed be He, 
spake one word and the heavens were created ^ as the 
residence of the Throne of His Glory,' as it is said, " By the 
word of the Lord were the heavens made " (Ps. xxxiii. 6). 
But in connection with the (creation of the) host of heaven 
He laboured with great labour.^ || What did the Holy One, 
blessed be He, do ? He blew with His mouth the wind of 
the breath ^ of life ^° and all the host of heaven were 
created,^^ as it is said, "And all the host of them by the 
breath of his mouth " (ibid.). 

All the stars and constellations ^- were created at the 



1 In MS. this is ch. vi. 

2 On Rabban Gamaliel ii. see J.E. v. 560 ff. ; on R. Ishmael see 
Bacher, T. i. 232 ff., and J.E. vi. 648 it. ; on R. Elazar b. 'Arakh see 
J.E. V. 96 f. ; for life of R.'Akiba see Bacher, T. i. 263 ff. It is difficult 
to understand how R. ' Akiba or R. Ishmael could have discussed Torah 
with Rabban Jochanan b. Zakkai. 

^ The first editions read : " were sitting and expounding." 

* Molad is the conjunction of Moon and Sun; see Schwarz, Der 
judische Kalender, pp. 58 f. 

^ The margin of the MS. has, " and all of them " (said). 

* Cf . Isa. xlv. 12. See Othijoth d. R.'Akiba, third paragraph of 
letter Resh, ed. Jellinek, B.H.M. iii. p. 46, and compare John i. 3, where 
the Logos or Word is the Creator. 

' The first editions read : " His Kingdom." 

* The first editions read : " great labour is mentioned, as it is said, 
' And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth ' [ibid.)." 

* Breath implies more than a mere word. 

1° The first editions read ; " He blew with the wind of the breath 
of His mouth." 

11 " Simultaneously " is added by the first editions. 

12 " And the two luminaries " is added by the first editions. 

41 



42 RABBI ELIEZER 

beginning of ' the night of the fourth - day, one (kiminary) 
did not precede the other except by the period of two-thirds 
of an hour. Therefore every motion ^ of the sun (is done) 
with dchbcration, and every motion of the moon is (done) 
quickly.' The distance covered by the sun in thirteen 
days and a fifth ^ is covered by the moon in one day,^ 
and (the distance) covered by the sun all the days of the 
year, the moon traverses (the same distance) in forty-one 
days.' All the days serve for the beginning of the Molad 
of the (new) moon; (for the folloAving series ^) the days are 
reckoned backward ; at the beginning of the night of the 
fourth day ^ the beginning of the Molad (new moon) was 

^ 6 p.m. 

"^ Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., when the fourth day began. 

' Lit. " action." 

* Since the sun was created just before the moon the latter hastens 
to overtake the former. 

^ Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads : " 12 days." 

' The text of the printed editions is hopelessly corrupt. They 
state : " The distance covered by the sun all the days of the year is 
traversed by the moon in one day." 

' The ist ed. reads : " 28 days." The Venice text reads : " 30 
days," which seems to be more correct than "41 days " of our MS. 
Our author seems to treat numbers without an}- regard to the exact 
amount. By treating fractions as though they were whole numbers, 
we may find an explanation of the difficulty which has already occurred 
in the previous chapter ; perhaps the 3'65|- days of the year were 
described as 366 so as to avoid the fraction. The text should probably 
read thus : " The distance covered by the sun in 12 days is covered by 
the moon in i day, and (the distance) covered by the sun all the days 
of the year, the inoon traverses in 30 days." See, however, T.J. Rosh 
Ha-Shanah ii. 5. p. 58a, which is possibly the source of our text: here. 
The lunar month according to the Hebrew astronomers was said to be 
29 days, 12 hours, and fVg'ri parts of an hour (i minute = i8 parts). 
Our book sometimes treats this as a whole number by sajnng, " the 
month has 30 days," or we find the more exact reference to 29 days, 12 
hours, and 40 minutes, neglecting the 4 minutes, 3^ seconds, which really 
belong to the sum total. On the entire subject of the Calendar see 
the valuable article by S. Poznaiiski in Hastings' Encydopcsdia of 
Religion and Ethics, iii. 17 if. 

* The series of the small cycles of three years in which the 
Molad of the next cycle falls on the day which was anterior to that on 
which the previous Molad fell. The calculation is based on the length 
of the lunar month being reckoned as measuring 29 days, 12 hours, 40 
minutes, so that in one year the surplus over the complete week equals 
4 days, 8 hours (since each lunar month has 4 complete weeks and i day, 
12 hours and 40 minutes; and this surplus multiplied by 12 equals 18 
days, 8 hours, i.e. 4 days, 8 hours beyond the two weeks), and in three 
years we have a surplus of 13 days (two weeks less one day) ; therefore 
the day of the next series to the one in question will be one day earlier 
than the preceding series ; see Schwarz, op. cit. p. 23, and Lewisohn, 
Geschichte und System des jiidischen Kahnderwesens, p. 25, note 84. 

* Tuesday, at 6 p.m. 



THE COURSE OF THE MOON 43 

in the hour of Saturn ; ^ and the mnemonic is ShNZ 

KMLChSh. After three years of the small cycle the day ^ 

of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the night of the 

third day, and the beginning of the Molad (new moon) is 

in the hour of Venus. After three years of the small cycle 

the day ^ of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the 

night of the second day, the beginning of the Molad is in 

the hour of Jupiter. After three years of the small cycle the 

day - of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the 

night of the first day, the beginning of the Molad || is in 

the hour of Mercury.^ After three years of the small cycle 

the day ^ of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the 

night of the Sabbath, the beginning of the Molad is in 

the hour of Mars. After three years of the small cycle the 

day - of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the 

night of the sixth day, the beginning of the Molad is in 

the hour of the Moon. After three years of the small cycle 

the day ^ of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the 

night of the fifth day, the beginning of the Molad is in the hour 

of the Sun. After three years of the small cycle the day ^ 

of the next cycle (reverts to) the beginning of the night of 

the fourth day, the beginning of the Molad reverts to the 

hour of Saturn as in the hour when it was created. 

The great cycle of the moon is 21 years ; it has 7 small 

cycles each containing 3 years.'* The total of the days of 

the lunar month is 29| days, 40 minutes, and 73 parts.^ 

Each constellation serves the days of the lunar month for 

2 days and 8 hours ; three constellations serve for 

7 days. The chief ^ which begins on the new moon (of 

the lunar month) is the same which concludes at the end 

of the lunar month.' The moon becomes new at every 

1 See supra, p. 32, note i. Saturn is represented by Sh. 
^ Of the Molad at the beginning of the new cycle. 
^ The MS. reads : " Kokhab Chamah," which is not the usual 
appellation for Mercury ; see Zunz, Gesammelte Schriften, iii. p. 243. 

* The first editions add : " Each constellation ministers to the 
days of the lunar month." 

* As we have seen, i hour =1080 parts, therefore 73 parts = 4^ 
minutes. Luria holds that the expression " 73 parts " is an interpolation. 
See T.B. Rosh HaShanah, 25a, on the question of the duration of a 
lunar month, which agrees with our text. 

' The constellation. 

' The tvvelve constellations serve or influence 28 days of the lunar 
month; the remaining i^ days, etc., are under the influence of the con- 
stellation which presided at the beginning of the month. 



44 RABBI ELIEZER 

Molad, once at night and the next time ^ by day, || and 
this is their sign : " And it was evening and it was 
morning " (Gen. i. 5). Between one Molad and (the corre- 
sponding) Molad in the ensuing year (there elapse) 4 days, 
8 hours, and 876 parts.- 

From one small cycle to the next cycle (elapse) 13 days, 
2619 parts.^ When * the sun goes in the south quarter, 
the moon goes in the north quarter, and when the sun goes 
in the north quarter '^ the moon goes in the south quarter. 
All the hours serve for the beginning of the Molad of 
the moon in a retrospective order, according to the order 
" ShLKNChM and Z." « In the first year at the be- 
ginning of the night of the fourth day the beginning of the 
Molad (conjunction of the moon) is in the hour of Saturn (Sh). 
In the second year' the beginning of the conjunction of the 

1 Lit. " once." 

- The last editions read : " 4 days. 8 hours, and 873 parts." This is 
incorrect. Luria reads : " 4 days and 8 hours." The basis of his assump- 
tion, which is unwarranted, is the theory that the lunar month =4 weeks 
and / day, 12 hours, and 40 minutes, and this surplus multiplied by 12 
= 18 days, 8 hours, i.e. 2 weeks and 4 days, 8 hours. Again this surplus 
multiplied by 3 (the small cycle) =13 days exactly. Our MS. is quite 
correct; see Hastings' Encyclopcedia of Religion and Ethics, iv. p. 120. 
The 1st and 2nd eds. add : " the difference between a great cycle axid a 
small cycle is only 13 daj's." ^ 

^ This means 13 days, 2 hours, 25^ minutes. 

* The text in the printed edition reads : " In the west at the time." 
The reference is probably to the relation between the position of the 
sun and moon (i) in the winter and (2) at the beginning of the con- 
junction of the moon and >un. See T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 24a, with 
Rashi's commentary at top of page. 

^ In the summer the sun is more in the north than in the winter, 
and the moon is in conjunction in the south-west, and in the summer 
its position is south of the sun at its conjunction. 

* The 1st ed. omits this mnemonic. 

' " In the hour following " is found in some of the late editions. 
The difference between one year and the next in this connection is 
taken to be 4 days, 8 hours ; if the first Molad were at 6 p.m. Tuesday, 
in the next year it will be 4 days, 8 hours later, i.e. Sunday 2 a.m., 
which is the hour of the moon. The following table will summarize 
the text : — 
The beginning of the Molad at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the hour of Saturn. 



2 a.m. 


Sunday ,, 


the Moon 


10 a m. 


Thursday 


Mercury-. 


6 p.m. 


Monday 


Venus. 


2 a.m. 


Saturday 


the S in. 


10 a.m. 


Wednesday „ 


Mais. 


6 p.m. 


Sunday 


J upiter. 



^ This is the interval between each small cycle, neglecting the 
fractions. 



THE COURSE OF THE MOON 45 

moon is in the hour of the Moon (L). In the third year, in the 
following hour, the beginning of the conjunction of the moon 
is in the hour of Mercury (K).^ In the fourth year the be- 
ginning of the conjunction of the moon is in the hour of 
Venus (N). In the fifth year, in the hour following, the be- 
ginning of the conjunction of the moon is in the hour of the 
Sun (Ch). In the sixth year the beginning of the conjunc- 
tion of the moon is in the hour of Mars (M). In the seventh 
year, in the hour following, the beginning of the conjunction 
of the moon is || in the hour of Jupiter (Z) in the hour follow- 
ing.- The third and fifth years are like the seventh. In like 
manner for three times these hours serve at the conjunction 
of the moon retrospectively until the (expiration of) the 21 
years of the cycle. 

All the constellations serve the moon by night from 
the four corners of the world : ^ 3 in the north, 3 in the 
south, 3 in the east, and 3 in the west. All the hours ^ 
serve the moon by night from the four corners of the 
world : 2 in the south, 2 in the north, 2 in the east, and 2 
in the west. In the hour in which it began to serve in the 

Speaking of the sun and moon, Eth. Enoch says (Ixxviii. 5) : " And 
they set and enter the portals of the west, and make their revolutions 
to the north and come forth through the eastern portals on the face 
of the heaven." The old Jewish belief as to the relation between the 
motion of the sun and moon was as follows : According to Rashi 
(T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, loc. cit.) the conjunction of every Molad (new 
moon) takes place when the moon is in the south-west comer of its 
orbit. 

In winter since the sun does not traverse the west in the daytime 
save when it sets, therefore the moon is in the west before the sun gets 
there, because the moon during the first half of the lunar month goes 
to the north, whilst the sun revolves in the south. 

In summer the sun goes over the greater part of the west in the 
daj'time ; and as it is then revolving in the north it is there before the 
moon, for then the moon is chiefly in the south. Where the sun sets 
there the moon rises. 

1 See supra, p. ^3, note 3. 

2 " In the hour following " and the next sentence do not occur 
in the printed texts. 

^ See Jalkut, Ex. § 41 8, and Jalkut, i Kings, § 185, according to the 
latter passage, " The twelve constellations (i.e. the Zodiac) through 
which the world is ruled, three turn to the north . . . Aries, Leo, and 
Sagittarius ; Taurus, Virgo, and Capricornus are turned to the west ; 
Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are turned to the south ; Cancer, Scorpio, 
and Pisces are turned to the east." An entirely different order is 
given in the Jalkut on Exodus, loc. cit. Cf. T.B. Pesachim, 94a, and 
see Eth. Enoch Ixxii. 2 ff. 

* i.e. the stars of the hours or the seven planets. This sentence is 
wanting in the ist ed. 



46 RABBI ELTEZER 

south, (therein) it finishes in the west ; ' and so ^vith all its 
circuits. 

All the great ^ luminaries of the stars ^ are situated in 
the south except Ursa Major,' which is placed in the north. 
All the Ma??ikin •' which move in the firmament and the 
angels^ who felP from their holy place (even) from heaven.^ 
(when) they ascend to hear the (Divine) Word behind the 
veil ^ they are pursued ^^ with a rod of fire, and they return ^^ 
to their place. ^- 

10 days, 21 hours, and 204 parts are the excess of the 
days of the solar year over the days of the lunar year ; ^^ and 

1 The eight hours refer to the length of the shortest night accord- 
ing to our book; see infra, p. 322. The seven planets are placed 
thus : two in the south, two in the north, two in the east, and 
the seventh planet in the west ; in addition, the first planet which 
served in the south serves at the end of the night (8th hour) in the 
west. 

-The ist ed. reads " small." 

' The expression is borrowed from Ezek. xxxii. 8. The seven 
planets are not referred to in this connection. The Pal. Targum, 
Ex. xl. 4, " And thou shalt bring in the lamp-stand on the south side, 
because thence are the paths of the sun and moon, and the pathways 
of the luminaries." 

* nbiii, " waggon." The constellation Taurus of the Zodiac or Ursa 
Major as a star is probably implied ; see Rashi on T.B. Berakhoth, 58b. 

^ See supra, p. 14, note 8. 

* The fall of the angels recalls Judc 6 ; Jubilees v. 6, 7 ; Slav. Enoch 
xviii. ; Eth. Enoch vi.-xvi., xix., and Ixxxvi. ; Test. XII Pat. (Reuben, 
V. 6, 7), and Fragments of a Zadokite Work (ed. Schechter, iii. 18). See 
infra, pp. 99 and 160. The fall of the angels is a favourite subject 
with the Church Fathers, e.g. Athenagoras, Embassy, xxiv. ; Justin 
Martyr, Second Apology, v. ; and Dialogue with Trypho, Ixxix. 

' The first editions add : " from their greatness." 

* The first editions add : " in the days of the generation of Enosh." 
This view opposes the doctrine of the Book of Jubilees v. 6-9, which 
holds that the fall of the angels took place in the days of Noah. Cf . 
Eth. Enoch vi. 4-6. On the "generation of Enosh" see Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 37, 193, and 248 ; Jerahmeel xxiv. 9, xxvi. 
20 ; Pal. Targum, Gen. iv. 26. On the "fall of the angels" see Gen. 
Rab. xxvi. 7 ; Pal. Targum, Gen. vi. 4 ; Jerahmeel xxv., and Gaster's 
Introduction, p. Ixxiii, for further parallels. In Christian literature 
this legend also occurs; see The Clementine Homilies, xiii. 

^ See supra, p. 23, note 5. 

'^ 1st ed. reads : " they are separated." 

^^ The first editions add : " backwards." 

^^ This is missing in the ist ed. 

^^ The 204 parts =11 J minutes; Luria holds that this is a later 
addition to our text. On the astronomical question see Gen. Rab. 
xxxiii. 7. Our reading has been used by the Pal. Targum, Gen. i. 16 
(see Ginsburger, Pseudo- Jonathan, p. 2, note 8). The Slavonic Enoch 
says, " And there remain 11 days over, which belong to the solar circle 
of the whole year " (xvi. 5). According to Eth. Enoch Ixxviii. 15, 16, 
the lunar year has 354 days and the solar year has 364 days, thus 



THE COURSE OF THE MOON 47 

the intercalation is introduced to equalize the days of the 
solar |] year with the days of the lunar year.^ The sun and 
the moon begin (their courses) at the new moon of Nisan, 
the Sim goes before the moon at its Tekuphah ; - and Aries 
begins to serve before it by day, and all the constellations 
serve thereafter ^ according to their order. The moon 
goes in the opposite direction '* and Aries begins to serve 
before it ^ by night, and all the constellations serve thereafter 
according to their order, until the year of the small cycle, 
vmtil the year of intercalation (comes round). (When) the 
intercalated month comes round it supersedes (or thrusts 
aside) the new moon (of Nisan) and remains at the new moon 
of Shebat,^ and so on until the twelve ^ intercalated months 

the difference between them amounts to lo days. Jubilees vi. 32-36 
holds that the moon " comes in from year to year 10 days too soon." 

1 On the intercalation see infra, Chapter VIII. p. 57. 

2 According to Gikatilla's Ginnath Egoz (ed. Hanau), p. 50b, the 
text should read : " The sun goes before the moon according to her 
ordinance." 

' Lit. " after it," i.e. after Aries. 

* Lit. " backwards." 

^ The MS. reads " before him," i.e. the sun. The first printed 
editions read : " before her," i.e. the moon. 

* The intercalated month is always interposed between Adar and 
Nisan, so as to ensure the fall of the Passover in the early spring. The 
first printed editions read here, "Adar," which appears to be the correct 
reading. The Venice edition adds : " and thus is it until the year of 
the small cycle ^ comes round ; (when) the intercalated month comes it 
displaces the new moon and remains at the new moon of Tebeth." ^ 

' The text is questioned by Luria and others. If instead of " 12" 
we read " 7 " then we have the cycle of 19 years with 7 intercalated 
months, which will be presently considered. Luria thinks that " the 
sun and moon are equal at the commencement of the eve of the fourth 
day in the hour of Saturn," as " when they were created " only applies 
at the end of the cycle of 84 years. This number is obtained by multiply- 
ing 12 (the number of the constellations) by 7 (the number of the 
planets) ; or by multiplying the solar cycle of 28 years by 3 ; or by 
multiplying the lunar cycle of 21 years by 4; possibly this 84- year 
cycle was intended to be used for astrological purposes. 

^ This small cycle is not the same as we have already discussed, 
namely, the 3 -years cycle ; it is the small cycle of intercalation which 
will be explained in Chapter VIII. 

2 The 1st ed. reads " Shebat." At the second intercalation when 
the month is interposed before Nisan the intercalated month will be 
at the new moon of the month before Adar {i.e. Shebat) if considered 
in relation to the first year of the intercalation ; and in the next year 
when the intercalation takes place the intercalated month before 
Nisan will really begin at the new moon of the month before Shebat {i.e. 
Tebeth) if considered in relation to the first year of the series. Thus 
after 12 years the intercalated month would again begin at the new 
moon of Adar. This is probably the meaning of the text which speaks 
of " 12 intercalated months." 



48 RABBI ELIEZER 

(come round) when the sun and the moon are equal (again) 
at the commencement of the eve of the fourth day in the 
hour of Saturn in the hour when they were created. Between 
each Molad (conjunction of tlic moon and sun) there are only 
36 hours, 40 minutes, and 73 ^ minims (parts). 

The moon does not disappear from the firmament save 
for the twinkhng of an eye ; even though there were a full 
thread (of light) surrounding it in the east and in the west,- 
the eye has not the power to see the moon until eight large ^ 
hours (have elapsed). (The large hours) arc two hours for 
each (large) hour, either at the beginning of the Molad 
(conjunction) of the moon or at the end of the Molad of the 

moon. 

The number of the days of the lunar year is 354 days, a 
third of a day, and 876 minims. ' |1 All the hours of a lunar 
month are 708 hours and 40 minutes ; all the hours of a 
lunar year are 8504 hours.'^ 

All the constellations serve the Molad of the moon and 
also the generations ^ of the children of men ; ' upon them 

» The " 73 minims" must be considered as an interpolation; see 
supVi' , p. 43, note 5. 

2 That is, at the beginning and end of the Molad ; see T.B. Rosh 
Ha-Shanah, 20b, Rashi, in loc. • • v 

^ The large hour equals two ordinary hours, as is explained in the 
next line of the text. This passage explaining the large hour is not in 
the printed editions. According to T.B. Rosh Ha Shanah, loc. cit., tlie 
Palestinian Jews were unable to discern the moon at the Molad, for 
6 hours after and 18 hours before the Molad ; in Babylon the reverse 
rule obtained. The reading "6 hours" in this Talmudic passage 
seems to Luria to be the appropriate reading in our text. Assuming, 
however, that our text is correct, we might argue that Palestine could 
not be the place where our book arose. 

* 876 minims equal 48§ minutes. There is evidently something 
amiss here, because the next sentence tells us that the lunar month 
has 708 hours and -o minutes, which means that the lunar month 
equals 29 days, 12 hours, and 40 minutes. On this basis the lunar 
year has 354" days, 8 hours. Must we assume that the " 876 minims " 
are an interpolation ? This figure equals 48I minutes, which in one 
lunar month equal 4i'i5 minutes or 73 minims. 

° 8504 hours =12 times 29 days, 12 hours, and 40 minutes. 

« Or, " historv." 

' The knowledge of the influence of the stars and planets on terres- 
trial affairs or, in other words, astrology was believed to enable men to 
know the future. Our book bases this on the text, which is quoted 
in this paragraph ; also Gen. v. i, which was read as follows : "This 
is the calculation of the generations of man." See also Job xxxviii. 19, 
" Where is the way to the dwelling of light. . . . And that thou 
shouldst discern the paths to the house thereof ? Thou knowest for 
thou wast then born." The sun, moon, and the planets are referred to 
in this chapter, showing that they have some connection with the time 



THE COURSE OF THE MOON 49 

the world stands, and everyone who is wise and understands, 
he understands the Molad of the moon and the generations 
of the children of men, and concerning them the text says, 
"And let them be for signs,^ and for seasons" {ibid. 14). 
The signs of the hours shall not depart from serving the sun 
by day and the moon by night. 

In three cycles of the sun or in four cycles of the moon ^ 
there are 84 years, which are one hour^ of the day of the 
Holy One, blessed be He. When the sun and moon become 
equal ^ at the beginning of the eve of the fourth day and at 
the hour of Saturn in the hour when they were created, and 
in the hour when the flames of the moon reach the sun by 
day at the degree (or ascent) of 60 (degrees), it passes therein 
and extinguishes its light ; and in the hour when the flames 
of the sun reach the moon at night in the degree (or ascent) 
of 40 (degrees), it passes through it and extinguishes its 
light.f^ 

Rabbi Nehorai said : It is the decree of the King ^ that 
when Israel sins || and fails to intercalate the year as is be- 
coming, the Holy One, blessed be He, acts in His mercy at 
the time when the flame of the sun reaches the moon by 
night at 40 degrees (or ascents), then the Holy One^ blessed 

and duration of life. Slav. Enoch xix. 2 says, " And these orders 
arrange and study the revolutions of the stars, and the changes of the 
moon, and revolutions of the sun, and superintend the good and evil 
condition of the world." The N.T. also implies a belief in the 
doctrines of astrology, e.g. Matt. ii. 9 ; see Jeremias, Bahylonisches 
im N.T., p. 52. This book of Jeremias is the best book on N.T. 
astrology ; for astrology among the Jews see Low, Gesammelte Schriften, 
ii. 11.5 ff. 

1 The first editions add the next word in the verse, " and for 
seasons " ; lliis is wanting in our MS. 

^ The lunar cycle referred to here consists of 21 years, as stated 
supra, p. 43. The solar cycle consists of 2S years, see supra, p. 34. 

^ God's day equals 1000 years, therefore i hour (reckoning 12 hours 
to the day) equals 83^ years. The third part of the year is reckoned 
as a whole year. This is another instance of the use of fractions as 
whole numbers, which seems to be a characteristic of our author. The 
Church Fathers use this idea of God's day lasting 1000 years ; see 
Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ixxxi., and Irenaeus, adv. Hcsr. 
v. 28. 3 ; and cf. Slavonic Enoch xxxiii. i f. 

* That is, they begin their courses as at the Creation. 

^ This refers to the echpses. It is not clear what the 60 or 40 degrees 
or ascents mean here. 

® The first editions read: "The decree of the King is made public 
by a word." See Jalkut, Jer. § 285. Instead of the reading " by a 
word " Luria suggests the reading " in the world," referring to the 
eclipses which are visible over a large portion of the world. 



50 RABBI ELIEZER 

be He, makes the moon dim and hides one of the Synhedrion.^ 
When Israel does the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, in 
His great mercy He makes the sun dim and He sends forth 
His anger upon the nations of the world,- as it is said, 
" Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the nations, 
and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven,^ for the nations 
are dismayed at them " (Jer. x. 2).-* Just as the moon's 
light does not rule over the sun's light ^ by day, nor does 
the sun's light rule over the moon's light ^ by night, likewise 
the calculation of the moon does not rule by day nor does 
the calculation of the sun (obtain) by night,' and the one 
does not trespass on the boundary of the other. ^ 

The dwelling of the moon is between cloud and thick 
darkness ^ made like two dishes turned one over the other, i" 
and when it is the conjunction of the moon these two clouds 
turn in the east quarter ^^ and (the moon) goes forth from 
between them ^- like a ram's horn.^^ On the first nicfht 
(is revealed) one measure (of light), on the second night 

1 Cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 37a, and Cant. Rab. on Cant. vii. 3. Here " to 
hide " means to conceal in the future Ufe ; this, in other words, is a 
warning not to neglect the intercalation. According to the Jesod 'Olam 
iii. 17 the moon is the "chief" of the Synhedrion, which dies at the 
eclipse by being hidden. For eclipse in N.T. see Luke xxiii. 44, 45. 

- The first editions read here also " the nations of the world." 
Later editions read : " worshippers of idols." 

^ The first editions continue the verse. 

■• Some of the old editions read here : " the nations (or according 
to the Prague edition ' the worshippers of idols ') are dismayed, but 
not Israel." See Pseudo-Seder Elijahu Zutta (ed. Friedmann, p. 10 
and note 40) on the eclipses, where the Talmudic and Midrashic 
sources are fully given. The astronomical question is treated at 
length in Israeh's Jesod "Olam, loc. cit. ; see also ]Maimonides, Hilkhoth 
Kiddnsh Ha-Chodesh. 

* According to Slavonic Enoch xvi. 7 the moon shines with her 
own light. 

•"' See T.B. ChuUin, Gob. When the sun is invisible the moon shines. 
^ The first editions read : " We do not count the calculation of the 
sun at night, nor the calculation of the moon by day." 

* Sec, however. Gen. Rab. vi. 3 for the opposite opinion. Accord- 
ing to Lev. Rab. xxvi. 4 the sun and moon borrow light from one 
another. 

' This is based on Job xxxviii. 9. On the text see Buber's intro- 
duction to Sepher Ha-Orah, p. 119. 

1" The first printed editions insert here : " and (the moon) goes forth 
from between them." 

" The first printed editions read : " turn their faces to the west 
quarter." 

»* See Singer, p. 128: " bringing forth the sun from his place, and 
the moon fiom her dwelling." 

** At rising. 



THE COURSE OF THE MOON 51 

the second measure, and so on until the half of the month 
when the moon is fully revealed, and from the middle of the 
month these two clouds turn their faces in the west quarter.^ 
The corner {i.e. crescent) of the moon with which it comes 
forth first,-^ (the same) begins to enter and is covered therein 
by the two (clouds) on the first night ^ (by) one measure, on 
the second night (by) a second measure, and so on to the end 
of the month until || it is entirely covered. And whence do 
we know that it is placed between two clouds ? Because 
it is said, " When I made the cloud the garment thereof, 
and thick darkness ^ a swaddlingband for it " (Job xxxviii. 
9). And whence do we know that it becomes entirely 
covered ? Because it is said, " Blow ye the trumpet in 
the new moon, at the covering,^ on our solemn feast day " 
(Ps. Ixxxi. 3). " At the covering," on the day when it is 
entirely covered, blow ye the trumpet in the new moon.^ 

^ This is also the reading of the ist ed. The Venice edition reads : 
" in the quarter of the east." 

2 See Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. Ixxxi. 14. pp. 25a, b, and Jalkut, Job 
xxxviii. 9, S 923. 

* After full moon. 

* The first editions give the next word of the text, whereas our 
MS. has " etc." 

^ " Covering "; see 'Arukh (ed. Kohut), iv. p. 266a, which has a 
different text of our passage. For further reference to the sun and 
moon see T.J. Berakhoth i. i. ; T.J. Rosh Ha-Shanah 11. 5. 58a ; Shocher 
Tob (Ps. xix.), pp. 168 f . ; Pesikta de R. Kahana, P. Ha-Chodesh, 41b f . ; 
and Ex. Rab. xv. 22. 

* This verse of Ps. Ixxxi. 3 is applied by the Liturgy (see Singer, 
p. 115) and by the Midrashim {e.g. Shocher Tob, Ps. Ixxxi. § 5) to the 
New Year. The fact that the Shophar (ram's horn) was mentioned a 
few lines previously seems to point to this section as forming part of 
a Midrash for the New Year. 



CHAPTER Villi 

THE PRINCIPLE OF INTERCALATION [9 A. i.] 

On the 28th of EHul the sun and the moon were created.^ 
The number of years, months, days, nights,^ terms, seasons, 
cycles, and intercalation were before the Holy One, blessed 
be He,^ and He intercalated the years and afterwards He 
delivered the (calculations) to the first man in the garden 
of Eden,^ as it is said, " This is the calculation " for the 
generations of Adam " (Gen. v. 1), the calculation of the 
world is therein for the generations of the children of 
Adam. 

Adam handed on the tradition to Enoch, ^ who was 
initiated in the principle of intercalation, and he intercalated 
the year, as it is said, " And Enoch walked with God " 
{ibid. 22). Enoch walked in the ways of the calculation 
concerning the world which God had delivered to Adam. 

1 This is ch. vii. in the MS. The printed editions present a good 
deal of the material in this chapter in a different order to that of our 
MS. 

- See T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, iia and 27a, for the view of R. EUezer 
that the world was created in Tishri. The heavenly bodies were 
created on Ellul the 28th. The work of creation began on the 25th 
of Ellul, see also Lev. Rab. xxix. i. In the preceding chapters the 
assumption was that the Creation took place in Nisan, cl. siipy.i, pp. 
351., 47. This opinion has also the support of the Talmud B. Rosh 
Ha-Shanah, 12a. Part of this chapter is quoted in the " Mcgillah of 
Abiathar," edited by Schechter in J.Q.R. xiv. pp. 463 ff. 

3 The first editions add: " hours." Cf. Wisdom vii. i8f. 

* See Gen. Rab. iii. 7 as to the calculations prior to the Creation. 

* In a holy place ; for, according to our book, the Garden of Eden 
was near Mount Moriah in Palestine. See infra, p. 143. 

^ See supra, p. 4S, note 7, and cf. T.J. Rosh Ha-Shanah i. 3. 57b 
and Pesikta de R. Kahana P. Ha-Chodcsh, p. 43b. 

' The mention of Enoch in connection with the Calendar is signi- 
ficant, suggesting an acquaintance with the Calendar systems associated 
with Enoch in the pseudepigraphic literature. The fact that accord- 
ing to the O.T. Enoch lived 365 years is also noteworthy in this 
connection. 

52 



PRINCIPLE OF INTERCALATION 53 

And Enoch delivered the principle of intercalation to Noah,^ 
and he was initiated in the principle of intercalation, and 
he intercalated the year, as it is said,^ " While the earth 
remaineth,^ seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, 
and summer and Avinter" {ibid. viii. 22). "Seed-time" 
refers to the Tekuphah of Tishri,* "harvest" refers to 
the Tekuphah of Nisan, " cold " refers to the Tekuphah 
of Tebeth, and " heat " refers to the Tekuphah of 
Tammuz ; " summer " is in its season and " winter " is 
in its season.'' 

The counting of the sun is by day || and the counting of 
the moon is by night, " they shall not cease." ^ 

Noah handed on the tradition to Shem, and he was 
initiated in the principle of intercalation ; he intercalated 
the years and he was called a priest, as it is said, " And 
Melchizedek ' king of Salem . . . was a priest of God Most 
High " {ibid. xiv. 18). Was Shem the son of Noah a priest ? 
But because he was the first-born, and because he ministered 
to his God by day and by night, therefore was he called a 
priest.^ Shem delivered the tradition to Abraham ; he was 
initiated in the principle of intercalation and he intercalated 
the year, and he (also) was called priest, as it is said, " The 

1 This should probably read " Methuselah," and the text should 
continue, " who handed it on to Noah." 

2 Luria's text here needs correction. 

^ The rest of the verse is given by the first editions. 

* Pal. Targum of this verse reads : " During all the days of the earth, 
(there shall be) sowing at the Tekuphah of Tishri, and harvest at the 
Tekuphah of Nisan, cold at the Tekuphah of Tebeth and warmth at the 
Tekuphah of Tammuz, and summer and winter, and days and night 
shall not fail." Tekuphah means not only season, but also the time of 
solstice and equinox according to the season. 

* The " Megillah of Abiathar," p. 463, adds : " summer in its season 
and winter in its season." 

® This section is based on the text " day and night shall not cease " 
(Gen. viii. 22). 

' Melchizedek is identified by our book with Shem. According 
to T.B. Nedarim, 32b, the priestly office held by Melchizedek's successors 
passed to those of Abraham ; see Beer, Btich der Jubilden, p. 74. The 
question of the identification of Shem with Melchizedek occurs in the 
Talmud [loc. cit. in this note), and see Buber's note 18 on p. 30 of the 
Midrash Agadah, cf. also Pal. Targum and Jer. Targum on Gen. xiv. 18, 
and Gen. Rab. xliii. 6 and Ivi. 9. See also the note of Charles in his 
ed. of Jubilees, p. loi. A considerable part of this section of our text 
occurs in Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. ex. 16, but the quotation from Gen. xiv. 18 
is omitted. There are other variations in the text. 

* The verse from Gen. xiv. 18 occurs here in the printed editions, 
and not above as in our MS. 



54 RABBI EI.IEZER 

Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,^ Thou art a priest for 
ever after the order 2 of Melchizedek" (Ps. ex. 4). Whence 
do we know that Shem delivered the tradition to Abraham ? 
Because it is said, " After the order of Melchizedek " 
(ibid.). Abraham delivered the tradition to Isaac, and he 
was initiated in the principle of intercalation, and he inter- 
calated the year after the death of our father Abraham, as 
it is said, " And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, 
that God blessed Isaac his son " (Gen. xxv. 11), because 
he had been initiated in the principle of intercalation and 
had intercalated the year (therefore) He blessed him \\ith 
the blessing of eternity.^ Isaac gave to Jacob '^ all the 
blessings and delivered to him the principle of intercalation. 
When Jacob went out of the (Holy) Land, he attempted to 
intercalate the year outside the (Holy) Land. The Holy 
One, blessed be He, said to him : Jacob ! Thou hast no 
authority to intercalate the year outside the land (of Israel) ; 
behold, Isaac thy father is in the (Holy) Land,'' he will inter- 
calate the year, as it is said, "And God appeared unto 
Jacob again, || when he came from Paddan-Aram, and blessed 
him " {ibid. xxxv. 9). Why " again " ? Because the 
first time He was revealed to him. He prevented him 
from intercalating the year outside the (Holy) Land ; but 
when he came to the (Holy) Land the Holy One, blessed 

1 The rest of the verse is not given by the MS., which merelvadds 
" etc." 

- Cf . Heb. V. 6 ff . , on this theme. The Hebrew 'man might suggest the 
meaning of "ruling" ; the Oxford Gesenius, p. 184, renders the word : 
" after the order," or " manner of." Is it merely a coincidence that 
the Test. XII Pat., Benj. x. 6, mentions the same names as in our text 
and in the same order ? — " Then shall ye see Enoch, Noah, and Shem, 
and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob." 

» Or " of the world." 

* See Jalkut Makhiri, Pss. loc. cit., which reads : " And Isaac handed 
on to Jacob all the blessings, and handed to him the principle of inter- 
calation," confirming the accuracy of the text o^ our MS. The printed 
editions read : " Isaac delivered the tradition to Jacob, and he was initi- 
ated in the principle of intercalation, and he intercalated the year." 

^ Although Isaac was blind, nevertheless the duty of intercalating 
the year devolved upon him and not upon Jacob when absent from the 
Holy Land. The Church offers a parallel to the subject-matter of 
our text in the famous controversy as to the right calculation for 
Easter ; see the epistle sent to Pope Hilarus by Victorius in the fifth 
century. In this letter we have several references to the lunar cycle 
of 84 years which also occurs in our book. (For text see Thalhofer's 
Bibliothek der Kirchenvdter, Die Briefe der Piipstc, vi. pp. 16-30; cf. 
also Ideler, Handbuch der Chronologic, 11, p. 276, and see also "The 
Paschal Canon of Anatolius of Alexandria," in A .X.C.L. xiv. pp. 411 &.) 



PRINCIPLE OF INTERCALATION 55 

be He, said to him : Jacob ! Arise, intercalate the year, as 
it is said, " And God appeared unto Jacob again, . . . and 
blessed him " (ibid.), because he was initiated in the principle 
of the intercalation, and He blessed him (with) the blessing 
of the world.^ 

Jacob delivered to Joseph and his brethren the principle 
of intercalation, and they intercalated the year in the land 
of Egypt. (When) Joseph and his brethren died, the inter- 
calations ceased from Israel in Egypt, as it is said, " And 
Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation " 
(Ex. i. 6). Just as the intercalations were diminished from 
the Israelites in the land^ of Egypt, likewise in the future 
will the intercalations be diminished at the end of the 
fourth kingdom^ until Elijah, be he remembered for good, 
shall come.* Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, was re- 
vealed to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, likewise in the future will 
He be revealed to them ^ at the end of the fourth kingdom,^ 
as it is said, " And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron 
in the land of Egypt saying,'^ This month shall be unto you 
the beginning of months " (ibid. xii. 1, 2). What is the signi- 
ficance of the word " saying " ? Say to them,^ Till now ^ the 
principle of intercalation was with Me, henceforth it is your 
right to intercalate thereby the year.^" Thus were the 

' i.e. the revelation of the Divine Name El Shaddai. " When I 
suspend judgment concerning man's sins, I am called El Shaddai," 
says the Midrash Tanchuma, Shemoth, § xx., and cf. infra, pp. 264 ff. 
In the first editions here follows the section beginning with the words : 
" Hence the (Sages) have said." 

2 The first editions read : " the Egyptian bondage." 

^ The first editions read here : " bondage of the fourth kingdom." 

* The first editions read : " until King Messiah shall come." This 
sign, due to the ignorance which will obtain in the period just before the 
advent of the Messiah, is to be compared with the " woes of the Messianic 
age" in Jubilees xxiii. 19: " For they have forgotten commandment, 
and covenant, and feasts, and months, and Sabbaths, and jubilees." 

* The Venice ed. reads : " to us." 

* Some editions read " exile," or " bondage." 

' The MS. does not continue the verse ; the first editions add : " This 
month shall be unto you." 

^ The first editions add : " to Israel." 

* From the death of Joseph during the period of bondage. 

^^ See Pesikta de R. Kahana, loc. cit., which reads: "it (the 
principle of intercalation) is delivered unto you." See also T.J. 
Rosh Ha-Shanah i. 13. 57d and Ex. Rab. xv. 2. The order of the 
narrative here in the MS. differs from that of the printed texts. On 
the astronomical knowledge of Moses, see Clement of Alexandria, 
Strom. I. xxiii., and cf. Acts vii. 22. 



56 RABBI ELIEZER 

Israelites wont to intercalate the year in the (Holy) Land. 
When they were exiled to Babylon || they intercalated the 
year through those who were left in the (Holy) Land. When 
they were all exiled and there were not any (Jews) left in 
the (Holy) Land/ they intercalated the year in Babylon. 
(When) Ezra and all the community with him ^ went (to 
Palestine), Ezekiel ^ wished to intercalate the year in Babylon; 
(then) the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : Ezekiel ! 
Thou hast no authority to intercalate the year outside the 
Land ; behold, Israel thy brethren,^ they will intercalate 
the year,^ as it is said, " Son of man, when the house of 
Israel dwell in their own land " (Ezek. xxxvi. 17). Hence 
(the Sages) have said. Even when the righteous and the 
wise are outside the Land, and the keeper of sheep and herds 
are in the Land, they do not intercalate the year ^ except 
through the keeper of sheep and herds in the Land. Even 
when prophets arc outside the Land and the ignorant '^ 
are in the Land they do not intercalate the year except 
through the ignorant who are in the land (of Israel),^ as it 
is said, " Son of man, when the house of Israel dwell in their 
ozvn land "{ibid.) it is their duty to intercalate the year. 

On account of three things -' is the year intercalated, 
on account of trees, grass, and the seasons (Tekuphoth). 
If two of these (signs) be available and not the third, 

^ After the murder of Gedaliah ; see T.B. Sabbath, 145b, and Seder 
'Olam Kab. xxvii. p. 62a. Tho Land = Pal 'Stine. 

- This is based on Ezra ii. i ; cf. T.B. 'Arakhin, 13a and 32a. 

^ On the question whether Ezekiel could have been a contemporary 
of Ezra, see Rashi on Ezek. xxix. (end), and cf. infra, p. 249. The 
spt csal privileges attached to the Holy Land are noteworthy in con- 
sidering th ' provenance of our book. 

* i.e. your brethren in the land of Israel, see 2 Kings xxv. 22 and 
Jer. xliii. 5. 

* The order of narrative in our MS. differs from that of the printed texts. 

* This passage if rendered literally reads: " Even the righteous and 
the wise outside the Land and the keeper of sheep and herds in the 
Land, then the year is intercalated only by the keeper of sheep and 
herds." See T.B. Synhedrin, i8b and 26a, for instances of intercala- 
tion by shepherds. Cf. the narrative of the Magi and the Star in 
Matt. ii. I ff. 

'Or "commoners" (t3vin = t5iurr7?5), see T.B. Nedarim, 78a. For 
an instance of intercalation outside Palestine see T.B. Berakhoth, 
63a, and cf. Tosaphoth on Jebamoth, 115a. 

" The printed editions differ from our MS. here with reference to 
the arrangement of the material. 

* The first editions read : " signs." This is also the reading in the 
Oxford MS. (d. 35). See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 221, note 3. 



PRINCIPLE OF INTERCALATION 57 

they do not intercalate the year, (that is to say) neither 
because of the trees nor because of the grass. If one (sign) ^ 
be available and the other two be absent, they do not inter- 
calate the year on account of the Tekuphoth.^ If the 
Tekuphah of Tebeth had occurred on the 20th ^ day of !| the 
month or later, they intercalate the year ; but till the 20th 
day of the month Tebeth or earlier they do not intercalate 
the year. 

The cycle of intercalation is 19 years, and there are 
7 small cycles ^ therein ; some of these are (separated by) 
3 years, some (by) 2 years, others (are separated by) 3 or 
2 years, or (by) 3, 3, and 3 years (the order of the cycles 
being) : 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th years. 
There are two (sets) of three years' cycles.^ 

^ i.e. the Tekuphah. Luria thinks that the reading should be as 
follows : "If two signs be available and not the third we intercalate 
on account of the presence of the trees and the grass ; if one sign be 
available and the other two be absent we do not intercalate on account 
of the Tekuphah" (see T.B. Synhedrin, 12a, b, and cf. T.B. Rosh 
Ha-Shanah, 21a). 

2 " This is an error, " says Luria ; " it should be the i6th " ; see T.B. 
Rosh Ha-Shanah, loc. cit., and T.B. Synhedrin, 13a : for if the Tekuphah 
of Tebeth fell on the 2 ist of Tebeth, then the Tekuphah of Nisan would be 
on the 24th of Nisan (91 days' interval), which is the day after Passover, 
accordingly Passover would not be in Abib (the Tekuphah in Nisan), 
and therefore Adar Sheni should be intercalated. The reading in our text 
(the 20th) is approved by Schwarz {Der jiidische Kalender, p. 36, note 3). 
The " Megillah of Abiathar " {op. cit. p. 471) reads: " If the Tekuphah 
of Tebeth had occurred from half (of the month) and later they inter- 
calate the year, but till half (of the month) and earlier they do not 
intercalate the year." The printed editions read : " If the Tekuphah 
had occurred by the 20th day of the month or earlier they intercalate 
the year ; but from the 20th day of the month or later they do not 
intercalate the year." This is clearly wrong. The correct reading is 
preserved by our MS., which is confirmed by the Oxford MS. (d. 35). 
On this subject see Maimonides, Kiddush Ha-Chodesh iv. 2, Schiirer, 
i. (3rd ed.), pp. 752 ff. ; F. K. Ginzel, Handbuch der Matheniatischen 
und Technischen Chronologie, ii. p. 67 ; and 'L.V^ves.chner, Samaritanische 
Traditionen, p. 10. In the past year (5675) the Tekuphah of Tebeth 
fell on Wednesday, January 6, 1915, at 10.30 p.m., i.e. the fifth day 
of the Hebrew week, the 21st of Tebeth, and the Tekuphah of Nisan fell 
on Thursday, April 8, 1915, at 6 a.m., i.e. the 24th of Nisan, after the 
termination of the Passover festival. The rule in our text does not 
apply now in actual practice. See Jozeroth, ed. Arnheim, p. 73. 

' The first editions read : " they intercalate the year on account of 
the Tekuphoth." This reading agrees with " Megillah of Abiathar," 
p. 469. 

* Of intercalated years. 

' Our text has the following order of years, 3rd, 6th (the 3rd after 
the preceding year of intercalation), the 8th {i.e. two years after the 
preceding year), nth (again three years' interval), 14th (again three 
years' interval), 17th (three years' interval), and the 19th year (two 



58 RABBI ELIEZER 

The intercalation takes place in the presence of 
three ; ^ Rabbi Eliczer says that ten (men are re- 
quired), as it is said, " God standeth in the congregation - 
of God "3 (Ps. Ixxxii. 1), and if they become less ' than 
ten, since they are diminished they place a scroll of the 
Torah before them,^ and they are seated in a circle in the 
court-room,<5 and the greatest (among them) sits first,' and 
the least sits last ; and they direct their gaze downwards ^ 
to the earth and (then) they stand and spread out their 
hands •* before their Father who is in heaven, and the chief 
of the assembly i° proclaims ^^ the name (of God), and they 

years' interval). On this question see Ginzel, op. cit. pn. 75f. ; and cf. 
Jesod 'Olam iv. ii. p. 63b, and the works on the Calendar by Lewisohn, 
p. 40, and Schwarz, p. 78. According to the Oxford MS. (d. 35) the 
text should read thus: the 3rd, 5th, 8th, nth, 14th, i6th, and 19th, 
agreeing with the cycle of Meton the Greek astronomer, with the 
exception that the latter has the 13th year instead of the 14th 
year. 

^ Men who know the principle of intercalation. 

- The " congregation " consists of ten, the Minyan ; this is derived 
from the use of the word " congregation " in connection with the ten 
spies who brought a false report to Moses in the wilderness (Num. 
xiv. 27). The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads here : " ' In the congregation 
of God.' 'Congregation' means only ten (men), as it is said: 'How 
long shall I bear with this evil congregation,'" etc. (Num. xiv. 27). 
See " Mcgillah of Abiathar," pp. 469 f. 

^ Or " in the congregation of the mighty." For the occasions when 
a Minyan is necessary, see Mishnah Megillah iv. 3, tractate Sopherim 
X. S, and infra, pp. 127 f. The Talmud B. Synhedrin, 70b, also re- 
quires ten men at the intercalation, and cf . Ex. Rab. xv. 20. 

'' e.g. if one or more of the ten men go away, see T.B. Berakhoth, 
47b. Luria thinks that the text is corrupt, reading " when they had 
deUberated " instead of " if they become less." The MSS. do not 
support this suggested emendation. 

•' To read therein the section deahng with the Calendar (Ex. xii. i f.). 

* Such as was used by the Synhedrion at Jerusalem; see T.B. Syn- 
hedrin, 35b, 36b, and So'pherim xix. 9. 

' See T.B. Baba Bathra, 120b, for order of procedure ; for a Biblical 
parallel see Gen. xhii. 33. The text means literally: "And they sit, 
the greatest according to his greatness, and the least according to his 
littleness." 

^ See Lev. ix. 24 for " falling on the face," and see Ezek. li. 28. 

* See Lam. iii. 41 ; Targ. Onkelos on Gen. xiv. 22, and cf. T.B. 
Jebamoth, 105b. 

i» The " Rosh Yeshibah " points to Palestine or to the schools of 
the Geonim in Babylon, or to the Academies in Egypt; see J.Q.R. 
xiv. p. 450, note i. 

^1 i.e. the benediction on reading the Torah; see Singer, p. 68. It 
probably means that the Ineffable Name was pronounced. The 
"Megillah of Abiathar," p. 469. recounts how the Inthablc Name 
was mentioned with " sanctification, greater than that of the 
Day of Atonement when the High Priest pronounced it seven 
times." 



PRINCIPLE OF INTERCALATION 59 

hear a Bath Kol ^ (saying) the following words,^ " And the 
Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron . . . saying,^ This month 
shall be unto you " (Ex. xii. 1, 2). 

If, owing to the iniquity of the generation, they do not 
hear anything at all ; '* then, if one may say so,^ He is unable 
to let His glory abide among them. Happy were they who 
stood in that place ^ in that hour,' as it is said, " Happy is 
the people who know the joyful sound : ® they walk, O Lord, 
in the light of thy countenance " (Ps. Ixxxix. 15) ; in the 
light of the countenance of the Holy One, blessed be He, 
they walk.^ 

On the New Moon of Nisan |1 the Holy One, blessed be 
He, was revealed to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 
and it was the 15th ^° year of the great cycle of the moon, 
the 16th year of the cycle of intercalation,^^ (and He said) : 
" henceforward the counting devolves on you." ^^ 

^ The Heavenly Voice; see Mark i. ii, and cf. Rabbinic Philosophy 
and Ethics, p. 195, note 4. 

^ Lit. " according to this expression." The Oxford MS. (d. 35) 
adds : "as it is said." 

^ The MS. does not continue the quotation. 

* R. Eliezer was permitted to hear the Bath Kol. See T.B. Baba 
Mezi'a, 59b, and T.B. Sotah, 4^b. In later times this privilege was 
withdrawn because of the sins of the people. 

^ On this term see Bacher, Terminologie, i. pp. 72 f . 

* i.e. the court room of the Synhedrion. The reference is to the 
good days of old, long before our book was written. 

' When the intercalation took place ; this was at night. Accord- 
ing to the " Megillah of Abiathar," p. 471, the intercalation took place 
by day; see T.B. Synhedrin, iib. 

® i.e. the Teru'ah or trumpet blast. The various features of this 
ceremony have a parallel in the ceremonies of the Ban mentioned 
infra, p. 301. Are we dealing with a Geonic institution ? 

^ Luria infers from our narrative that the Shophar was sounded at 
the intercalation ceremony; see T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cii., and Tosephta 
Synhedrin ii. 7 ff., p. 417, on this ceremony. 

" Luria corrects this and reads " the 12th." On the date of the 
Exodus see Seder 'Olam Rab. v. pp. iibf. 

" Of 19 years. 

12 Sec the " Megillah of Abiathar," p. 464. On the important 
question as to the probable origin of P.R.E. in connection with the 
intercalation, see J.Q.R. (New Series) i. pp. 64 f. 



CHAPTER IXi 

THE CREATION AND WONDERS OF THE FIFTH DAY [IOa. ii.] 

On the fifth day - He caused the waters to bring forth 
abundantly all kinds of winged fowls, male and female, 
unelean and clean. By two signs ^ arc thej^ declared to be 
clean, by the crop, and by the craw peeling off. Rabbi 
Eliezer said : (Another sign was) also by the projecting 
toe of the claw. Two kinds of birds have been chosen 
for the offering of a burnt sacrifice,^ namely, the turtle-dove 
and the young pigeon. 

He ^ caused the waters to bring forth abundantly 
all kinds of fish, male and female, unclean and clean. 
By two signs arc they declared to be clean, by the fins and 
by their scales ; « and if they do not have them {i.e. both 
signs) they are unclean. 

On the fifth day He caused the waters to bring forth 
abundantly all kinds of locusts,' male and female, clean and 
unclean. By two signs arc they declared to be clean : by 
their long legs with which they jump,^ and by the wings 
which cover the entire body, such are clean. Such (living 
things) as were brought forth from the water, namely, fish 

' In our MS. this is ch. viii. 

* For the creation on the fifth day see Gen. i. 20-23 ; 4 Ezra vi. 
47 ff. ; Jubilees ii. 11, 12 ; Slav. Enoch xxx. 7. Our" book reckons 
three kinds of living things created on the fifth day: birds, fish, and 
locusts ; in Jubilees, loc. cit., three kinds: great sea monsters, fish, and 
birds are also enumerated. 

3 On the signs see T.B. Chullin, 59a, 6ia and 62a; Tosephta 
Chullin iii. 22, p. 505, and Pal. Targum on Lev. xi. 13. 

* This agrees with Luria's reading; the printed texts read: "an 
offering and a burnt-offering." 

* The Venice edition adds : " On the fifth day." The ist ed omits 
this and the following words up to " male." 

" On fish .see L' v. xi. 9, 10, 12, and T.B. Chullin, 66b. 
' See T.B. Chullin, 59a and 65 a, b. 

* The first editions add : " upon the earth." Sec Lev. xi. 20-23. 

60 



WONDERS OF THE FIFTH DAY 61 

and locusts,^ are (eaten) without (being subject to the laws 
of) Shechitah ^ (with the ritual slaughtering), but the bird 
cannot be eaten unless (it be killed) by (the method of) 
Shechitah. Such creatures which have been created from 
the earth ^ || have their blood covered with earth, and such 
as have been created from the water must have their blood 
poured out like water.* 

^ Dr. Charles is mistaken in stating that in the " Pirke R. Eliezer 
ix. it is said that locusts are not created from water " {Fragments of a 
Zadokite Work, p. 31). Just the opposite theory is advocated by our work. 
The Zadokite Fragment taught that the elements of fire and water 
were to be found in the composition of the locusts, hence they are to 
be killed by fire or by water; see Schechter, op. cit., p. 51, note 24. who 
points out that according to Rabbinic law, the locust requires no killing 
at all ; see Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhoth Shechitah, ch. i. i, 
and Tur Joreh Di'ah, 13. The importance of this Halakhah will be 
appreciated if we are able to fix the date and home of our book. The 
question has been critically discussed by Dr. Biichler in the J.Q.R. 
(New Series) iii. (1913) pp. 442 f. ; see J.Q.R. (New Series) iv. pp. 
460 ff., where Jubilees v. 30 is cited as bearing on the question. Ci. 
also Wreschner, op. cit. p. 52. 

^ The first editions read : " are eaten, for they are not (killed) by 
Shechitah." For the ritual slaughter of animals by the knife see T.B. 
Chullin, 27a. This method probably obtained among the early 
Christians, see Acts xv. 20 and 29, xxi. 25 ; for further references see 
Preuschen, N.T. Diet. s.v. ttvlktos, c. 933. 

* The MS. actually reads " water," but the text was here originally 
" earth." The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads: " Such as were created from 
the earth have their blood poured out like water, and such as swarmed 
from the water have their blood covered by the dust." As the parch- 
ment of our MS. has been damaged by the erasure, an attempt has also 
been made to change the word " water " (in the next line) into " earth." 

' Luria reads: " Such as have been created from the water may 
have their blood consumed like water, and such as have been created 
from the earth, their blood is prohibited to be consumed : the exception 
is the fowl ; for although it has been created from the water its blood is 
prohibited to be consumed, and, moreover, it requires that the blood 
which falls upon the earth when it is killed must be covered by dust." 
The traditional text found in our MS. as well as in the first editions 
is probably correct in view of the unusual Halakhah (or Law) preserved 
in the Fragments of a Zadokite Work (ed. Charles), xiv. 13: " Nor shall 
fish be eaten unless they are split alive and their blood was shed." 
Dr Schechter thinks that this rule was " directed against the Rabbinic 
opinion permitting the eating of the blood of the fish. See Sifra, 39a, 
and Kerithoth, 20b." See, further, T.B. Chullin, 27b, " where," says Dr. 
Schechter, " we have a homily to the effect that cattle have to be 
killed in a certain way because they were created out of the dry land 
(earth) ; fish, again, require no killing, being created out of the water ; 
whilst birds, which were created out of alluvial mud (a combination of 
water and earth), occupy also, with regard to their ritual killing, a 
middle place between cattle and fish. The notion was that the mode 
of killing is in some way connected with the element out of which the 
animal in question was created." See Wreschner, op. cit. p. 54. The 
1st ed. reads : " its blood is poured out on the earth." The Venice 
edition agrees with our MS. 



62 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi Eliezer said : Not only concerning the water does 
the Scripture say that " the waters should bring forth abund- 
antly " (Gen. i, 20), but also concerning the birds ^ which 
are compared with water, as it is said, " And the uproar of 
many peoples, which roar like the roaring of the seas " (Isa. 
xvii. 12), and just as the waters brought forth abundantly 
on the fifth day, likewise in the future will the nations of 
the world swarm in the fifth world,- and they will fight one 
another to destroy ^ (one another), as it is said, " And they 
were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city 
against city ; ^ for God did vex them with all adversity " 
(2 Chron. xv. 6). What is ^vritten (immediately) after- 
wards ? The Salvation of Israel (is mentioned), as it is 
said,^ " But be ye strong ; and your hands shall not be 
slack " {ibid. 7). 

All rivers flowing on the earth,^ as soon as they flow on 
the earth, they are blessed and good and sweet. There is some 
benefit to the world through them ; ' (when) they flow into 
the sea they are bad,^ cursed, and bitter, and they are of 
no benefit to the world. Why are they similar to Israel ? 
For when the Israelites rely upon the protection of their 
Creator and do His will, they are blessed and good and 
sweet, and there is some benefit to the world through them, 

' The Oxford MS. (cl. ^5) and the first editions read : " nations of 
the world." 

* Is the fifth world the fifth kingdom, i.e. the kingdom of the Messiah? 
Or, is the " fifth world " another way of sa3'ing the " fifth era " or " day " 
of the world ? This would be the period 5000 a.m. to 6000 c.e. {i.e. 
1240-2240 C.E.). Our reading is also preserved in the ist ed. In 
the Venice edition the word " fifth " is omitted. 

* See T.B. 'Abodah Zarah, 4a, T.B. Synhcdrin, 97b, and Zohar, 
Gen. 46b and 119a, for tfie wars of the Messianic Age, which were sup- 
posed to begin about the end of the fiftieth century a.m. ; cf. t7ifra, pp. 
198-203 ; and s<-e R-v. xvi. 14 lor the internecine strife of the nations. 

' The first two editions have erred here in a strange manner : they both 
quote as a Scripture text the words: "And I will set nation against 
nation, kingdom against kingdom, for God did vex them with all ad- 
vrsit}-." The last clause is part of the quotation from 2 Chron. xv. 6, 
the first part of this verse being accurately given by our MS. Where 
do we find the words : " And 1 will set nation against nation, king- 
dom against kingdom " ? Might one suggest Matt. xxiv. 7, based on 
Isa. xix. 2 and 2 Cliron. xv. 6. as a parallel ? See also 4 Ezra xiii. 31. 

* See Isa. Ixii. 11 and Ps. xiv. 7. 

^ The Venice edition omits " flowing on the earth " ; the ist ed. 
agrees with our text. 

^ Cf. Recognitions of Clement viii. 24 and Jolm of Damascus, op. 
cit. ii. g. 

* Luria suggests the reading : " they are cursed, evil." 



WONDERS OF THE FIFTH DAY 63 

and for their sake ^ the world stands. (When) the men of Israel 
depart from their Creator and trust in the statutes of the 
nations,- they are bad, accursed, and bitter, |1 and there is no 
benefit in them for the world. Just as the waters of the 
rivers (are) the food of the waters of the sea,^ so are (the 
sinners destined to be) fuel for Gehinnom. All the rains that 
descend into the sea are (as) seed for (all creatures) in them,^ 
and thereby the fish are fed.^ 

On the fifth day the waters in Egypt ^ were changed into 
blood. On the fifth day our forefathers went forth from 
Egypt.' On the same {i.e. fifth) day the waters of the Jordan 
stood still before the ark of the Covenant of God.^ On the 
same (i.e. fifth) day Hezekiah stopped the fountains which 
were in Jerusalem, as it is said, " This same ^ Hezekiah 
also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon " 
{ibid, xxxii. 30).i° 

On the fifth day He brought forth from the water the 
Leviathan,^^ the flying serpent, and its dwelling is in the 

1 See Jar. x. 2, 3, and Assumption of Moses i. 12. A parallel to our 
text is given bv 4 Ezra iv. 55, 59, vii. 11. 

2Cf. Matt. V. 13, 14. 

3 The river water is absorbed by the salt water and thereby the 
composition of the sea water is modified ; see Gen. Rab. v. 3 on this 
problem. 

* i.e. the sea. Cf. supra, p. 30, the rain is the male element in 
water ; see Shocher Tob, Ps. cxlvi. § 3, p. 268a. 

^ The first editions read : " become fruitful." 

^ See Seder 'Olam Rab. iii., and cf. Mishnah 'Edujoth ii. 10 for the 
duration of the Plagues. Our book {infra, p. 330) states that the day of 
departure was on the third day ; on this point see T.B. Sabbath, 87b. 
Luria thinks that the text should be emended thus: " On the fifth day 
the sea was divided when our fathers went forth from Egypt." 

' The reading of our text is preserved in Jalkut, Jonah, § 550, as 
follows : " It was taught in a Baraitha that R. Eliezer said, On the fifth 
day the waters of Egypt were turned into blood, on that day our fathers 
went forth from Egypt ; on that day the waters of the Jordan stood 
still before the ark of the Lord, on that day Hezekiah stopped all the 
fountains ; on the fifth day Jonah fled before God." See first sentence 
in next chapter of our book. 

* See Josh. iii. 15, 16; Tosaphoth in Menachoth, 30a, catchword: 
" From here onwards," refers to the day when Jericho fell ; cf. Seder 
'Olam Rab. xi. ; see Ratner's ed. p. 24a, note 24, for the parallels, and 
see in our book, infra, pp. 423 f . 

* The printed editions are incorrect here. 

1" On Hezekiah see Aboth de R. Nathan [a] ii. pp. 6a, b ; and cf. T.B. 
Berakhoth, 5b, T.B. Pesachim, 56a, and in our book, infra, pp. 424 ff. 

11 The Leviathan is the " flying serpent." See Isa. xxvii. i, and 
Gen. Rab. vii. 4 with Theodor's note, in loc. ; 4 Ezra vi. 49 ff. (ed. 
Box, p. 92) ; Eth. Enoch Ixix. 7 f . ; and cf. Monatsschrift, Ixiii. p. 20. 
Our book holds the view that the Leviathan was created on the fifth 



64 RABBI ELIEZER 

lowest waters ; and between its fins ^ rests the middle 
bar of the earth.'- All the great sea monsters in the sea 
are the food for the Leviathan. Every day ^ it opens its 
mouth, and the great sea monster destined to be eaten that 
day (tries) to escape and flee, but it enters the mouth of the 
Leviathan,: and the Holy One, blessed be He, plays with it, 
as it is saic), " This is the Leviathan, whom thou hast created 
to play with him " ^ (Ps. civ. 26). 

Rabbi Mana '' said : Such creatures which have been 
created from the earth increase and multiply on the earth, and 
such which have been brought forth from the water increase 
and miiltiply in the water, except all kinds of winged birds, 
for thair creation was || from the water, yet they increase and 
multi|:)ly on the earth, as it is said, " And let the fowl multiply 
in the earth " {Gen. i. 22). Such as were brought forth from 
the water increase and multiply by the egg ; *• and such as 
were created from the earth increase and multiply by foetus 
(i.e. living offspring).^ 

day, and Behemoth on the sixth day ; see infra, p. 75 ; and see 
also T.B. Baba Bathra, 74b, 75a; Pal. Targum on Gen. i. 21. On 
Behemoth see Pesikta de R. Kahana vi. p. sSa; Lev. Rab. xxii. 10; 
Num. Rab. xxi. 18, and Tanchuma, Nizabim, § iv. 

1 The first editions read : " its two fins." 

- See infra, p. 71. 

' The first editions read here : " And the Holy One, blessed be He, 
plays with it every day." This part of the sentence is out of place, 
as it occurs again a few lines farther on in these editions. Our MS. is 
quite correct here. 

* The R.V. renders : " whom thou hast formed to take his pastime 
therein." See Job xli. 5, and cf. Jalkut on Job, § 927. 

* The first editions read : " Meir." 

"^ The ist ed. reads here : " in the water" instead of " by the egg." 
^ See Basil, op. cit. vii. 2 ; and John of Damascus, op. cit. ii. 9, for 
the creation of and from the water ; cf . T.B. ChuUin, 27b, Bechoroth, 
8a, Pal. Targum on Gen. i. 20, and Midrash AgaJah, p. 3. Luria 
(note 43) suggests an emendation of the text as follows: " Such as were 
created from the water increase and multiply by living offspring " [e.g. 
whales) ; whereas such as were brought forth from the water are hatched 
from the egg" {e.g. the duck). The ist ed. reads: "multiply on the 
earth." Does the ist ed. here prescr\-e the true reading ? 



CHAPTER XI 

THE HISTORY OF JONAH [11a. i.] 

On the fifth day Jonah - fled before his God. Why did he 
flee ? Because on the first occasion when (God) sent him 
to restore the border of Israel, his words were fulfilled, as 
it is said, " And he restored the border of Israel ^ from the 
entering in of Hamath " (2 Kings xiv. 25).^ On the second 
occasion (God) sent him to Jerusalem to (prophesy that He 
would) destroy it. But^ the Holy One, blessed be He, did 
according to the abundance of His tender mercy and re- 
pented of the evil (decree), and He did not destroy it ; ^ 
thereupon ^ they called him a lying prophet.^ On the third 
occasion ^ (God) sent him against Nineveh ^^ to destroy it. 
Jonah argued with himself, saying, I know that the nations 

^ In our MS. this is marked as ch. ix. Jalkut Makhiri, Jonah, ed. 
Greenup, pp. 6il. , contains selections from P.R.E. here. 

^ The story of Jonah belongs to the series of events which happened 
on a Thursday ; moreover, the Leviathan mentioned m connection with 
the story was created on the fifth day. See Jalkut, Jonah, § 550, and 
supra, pp. 03 f. 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here. The first two editions con- 
tinue as in our translation. 

* The Oxford MS. (d. 35) continues this verse: " imto the sea of 
Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which 
he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai the 
prophet, who was of Gathhepher." In spite of the sins of Israel, 
this prophecy of Jonah was fulfilled. Jonah is only once referred 
to in the apocryphal literature, 3 Mace, vi, 8 ; see LXX text of Tobit 
xiv. 4. 

^ The first editions add : " because they repented." 

® It is assumed by our Midrash that this prophecy is referred to by 
Jonah (iv. 2), " Was not this my saying when I was yet in my country 
. . . for I knew that thou art a gracious God . . . and repentest thee 
of the evil." See T.B. S5mhedrin, 89b. 
' The first editions add " Israel." 

* See 2 Kings ix. 4, 11, 12. The prophet mentioned in these verses 
is Jonah, according to Rashi and Kimchi, in he. 

» See T.B. Jebamoth, 98a. 

1" The first editions read : " to Nineveh." 



66 RABBI ELIEZER 

are nigh to repentance,^ now they will repent and the Holy 
One, blessed be He, will direct His anger against Israel. 
And is it not enough for me that Israel should call me 
a lying prophet ; but shall also the nations of the world 
(do likewise) ? Therefore, behold, I will escape from His 
presence to a place where His glory is not declared. (If) I 
ascend above the heavens, it is said,^ " Above the heavens 
is his glory " (Ps. cxiii. 4). (If) above the earth,^ (it is 
said), " The whole earth is full of his glory " (Isa. vi. 3) ; 
behold, I ^^^ll escape to the sea,^ to a place || where His 
glory is not proclaimed. Jonah went down to Joppa, 
but he did not find there a ship in which he could em- 
bark, for the ship in which Jonah might have embarked 
was two days' journey away from Joppa,'' in order to 
test** Jonah. What did the Holy One, blessed be He, 
do ? He sent against it a mighty tempest on the sea and 
brought it back to Joppa. Then Jonah saw and rejoiced 
in his heart, saying, Now I know that my ways will prosper 
before me. 

He said to the (sailors). We ' will embark with you. 
They replied to him, Behold, we are going to the islands 

* See infra, pp. 342 f., and Mekhilta Bo, i, p. 2; T.J. Synhedrin 
». 7, 30b; Tanchuma Vajikra, §vii. This is an excellent dictum. The 
non-Jews ' are easily turned to repentance. The first editions read : 
" this nation is nigh to repentance." 

- The Venice edition reads : " it is said that His glory is there, as it 
is said." 

3 The Venice edition reads: " Above the earth ? It is said that 
His glory is there, as it is said." For similar questions see Chrj-^sosto- 
mus, Homily on Repentance, 3. 

* In the first editions the word (d'"?) " to the sea " is replaced by 
('^) " for myself." 

* This addition to the Biblical narrative is preserved in the Midrash 
Jonah (in Jellinek's Beth Ha-Midrash, i. pp. 96-105), and see the 
Zohar, Gen. 121a, b, for further embellishment. This Midrash, as well 
as our chapter, undoubtedly formed one of the Homilies for the service 
of the Day of Atonement, the Book of Jonah forming the lesson from 
the Prophets for the afternoon service of that day. This point is of 
importance in our estimate of the probable use which our book was 
intended to render. Was it a book for the Synagogue ? Was it 
intended to supply Midrashic material for the preacher in his pubUc 
discourses ? As far as this loth Chapter is concerned, the answer is in 
the affirmative. We shall find further evidence to support this view 
in the course of our study of this book. 

* Perhaps the text should read : " In order to test Jonah what did 
the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? " 

' The MS. reads: " we will embark." The ist and 2nd eds. read : 
" I will embark," 



THE HISTORY OF JONAH 67 

of the sea, to Tarshish.^ He said to them, We - will go ^vith 
you. Now (this) is the custom on all ships that when a 
man disembarks therefrom he pays his fare ; but Jonah, 
in the joy of his heart, paid his fare in advance,^ as it is said, 
" But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence 
of the Lord ; and he went down to Joppa and found a ship 
going to Tarshish ; so he paid the fare thereof, and went 
down into it,^ to go with them " (Jonah i. 3). 

They had travelled one day's journey, and a mighty 
tempest ^ on the sea arose against them on their right 
hand and on their left hand ; but the movement ^ of all 
the ships passing ' to and fro was peaceful in a quiet sea, 
but the ship into which Jonah had embarked was in great 
peril of shipwreck, as it is said, " But the Lord sent out a 
great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest 
in the sea, so ^ that the ship was like || to be broken " {ibid. 4). 

Rabbi Chanina ^ said : (Men) of the seventy languages i" 

^ Ibn Ezra on Jonah i. 3 tells us on the authority of Sa" adiah that 
Tarshish is Tarsus ; he also gives another opinion that Tunis in Africa is 
the port referred to. For other views, see Gesenius (Oxford edition), 
pp. 1076 f. 

2 The MS. reads also liere : ''we will embark." The ist and 2nd 
eds. read : " I will embark." 

' See T.B. Nedarim, 38a, according to which Jonah pays the fares 
of all on board. See J.E. vii. 226 f. for the story of Jonah in Rab- 
binical literature. 

* Our MS. ends the quotation here, but adds "etc." The first 
editions add " etc." after " Joppa." 

^According to the Midrash Konen, p. 23. at the creation of the 
world God stipulated with the sea that it should not suffer Jonah to 
sail to Tarshish. 

« Lit. " way." 

' The versions in Tanchuma Vajikra, § viii., and Jalkut Jonah, loc. 
cit., differ somewhat. Our text is, however, the source whence the 
Midrashim have drawn their material. Kimchi on Jonah i. 7 remarks : 
" I have found in the Pirke R. Eliezer, A great tempest arose against 
them on the sea, and on their right hand and on their left hand all 
the ships were passing to and fro in peace in the tranquiUity of the 
sea ; and the ship into which Jonah had embarked was in great distress 
so that one thought that it would be broken in pieces." See Gen. 
Rab. xxiv. 4 with reference to the wind sent to hinder Jonah; of. 
Lev. Rab. xv. i on same point. 

* The first editions omit the preceding part of the quotation. 
^ The first editions read " Chananjah." 

^° The seventy nations of humanity have each one a representative 
on board. The ship is a type of the world, which only can find its 
salvation through the wilhng martyrdom of the Hebrew, who, although 
he be inoffensive in his conduct with his fellow-men of all nationalities, 
is nevertheless quite willing to allow himself to be doomed to destruc- 
tion in order to relieve his fellow-men of their threatened ruin. This 



68 RABBI ELIEZER 

were there on the ship, and each one had his god in his hand, 
(each one) saying : ^ And the God who shall reply and 
deliver us from this trouble, He shall be God.^ They 
arose and every one called upon the name of his god, but it 
availed nought.^ Now Jonah, because of the anguish of 
his soul, was slumbering and asleep. The captain of the 
ship came to him, saying. Behold, we are standing bct\Adxt 
death and life, and thou art slumbering and sleeping ; of 
what people art thou ? He answered them, " I am an 
Hebrew " {ibid. 9). (The captain) said to him, Have we 
not heard that the God of the Hebrews is great ? Arise, 
call upon thy God, perhaps He will work (salvation) for us 
according to all His miracles which He did for you at the 
Reed Sea. He answered them,^ It is on my account that 
this misfortune has befallen you ; take me up and cast me 
into the sea and the sea will become calm unto you, as it 
is said, " And he said unto them. Take me up, and cast me 
forth into the sea ; so shall the sea be calm unto you " (ibid. 

Rabbi Simeon said : The men would not consent to throw 
Jonah into the sea ; but they cast lots among themselves 
and the lot fell upon Jonah. ^ What did they do ? They 
took all their utensils which were in the ship, and cast them 
into the sea ^ in order to lighten it for their (safety), but it 
availed nought. || They wanted to return ' to the dry land, 
but they were unable, as it is said, " Nevertheless the men 

universalistic aspect of the mission of the Hebrew is famihar to the 
student of the Bible. Abraham, Moses, and the suffering servant of 
God, who is none other than Israel, represent this teaching, which our 
book enforces. The basis for the Midrashic idea of the seventy 
nations is afforded b}' comparing the text of Jonah i. 5, which says, 
" And every man cried unto his God," with the text in Mic. iv. 5, 
" For all the people will walk every man in the name of his God." 

1 The first two editions read here : " as it is said, ' Then the 
mariners were afraid, and cried everj' man unto his God ' " (Jonah i. 5). 
The Venice edition adds : " They bowed down saying, Let each man 
call on the name of his God." 

2 Cf. Elijah's appeal on Mount Carmel, i Kings xviii. 24. 

3 See Targum, lonah i. 5. 

* The first editions add : " I will not hide from you that." 

* The first editions add here : " as it is said, ' So they cast lots, and 
the lot fell upon Jonah ' " (Jonah i. 7). 

' See Targum, Jonah, loc. cit., and Midrash Jonah (ed. Jelhnek), p. 97. 

"> The reading in our MS. is in agreement with the reading of the 
Tanchuma (loc. cit.) and Jalkut, Jonah, loc. cit. The printed texts 
read, " they wanted to row hard," instead of our reading. 



THE HISTORY OF JONAH 69 

rowed hard to get them back to the land ; but they could 
not" {ibid. 13). i What did they do? They took Jonah 
and they stood on the side of the ship, saying, God of the 
world ! O Lord ! Do not lay upon us innocent blood, for 
we do not know what sort of person is this man ; and he 
says deliberately, 2 On my account has this misfortune 
befallen you.^ 

They took him (and cast him into the sea) up to his knee- 
joints, and the sea-storm abated. They took him up again 
to themselves and the sea became agitated again against 
them.* They cast him in (again) up to his neck, and the 
sea-storm abated. Once more they lifted him up in their 
midst and the sea was again agitated against them, until 
they cast him in entirely and forthwith the sea-storm 
abated,^ as it is said, " So they took up Jonah, and cast 
him forth into the sea : and the sea ceased from her raging " 
(ibid. 15). 

" And the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow 
up Jonah" (ibid. 17).^ Rabbi Tarphon said: That fish 
was specially appointed from the six days of Creation "^ to 
swallow up Jonah, as it is said, " And the Lord had 
prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah " (ibid.). He 
entered its mouth just as a man enters the great synagogue, 
and he stood (therein). The two eyes of the fish were like 
windows ^ of glass giving light to Jonah. 

Rabbi Meir said: || One pearl was suspended inside the 

1 This quotation is missing in the first two editions. 

- Lit. " with his mouth." The prayer of the sailors here should 
be compared with the text in Jonah i. 14. The first editions read : " he 
said to them." 

' The first editions add : " take me and cast me into the sea. Forth- 
with." 

' The first editions add : " they cast him (into the sea) up to his navel/ 
and the sea-storm abated. Again they took him up among them- 
selves, and the sea again was agitated against them." 

* The quotation is not given by the first editions ; the last clause 
is wanting in the MS., being replaced bv " etc." 

* This quotation occurs here only in the MS. Its presence suggests 
the probability of our context being part of a Midrash. 

' See Gen. Rab. v. 5 and T.B. Bechoroth, 8a. 

^ Our MS. reads " ampumeth." According to Jastrow, T.D. 78a, 
this stands for dphsejanioth, " glass windows." This represents 6^pLav6s 
(obsidian), a stone used as glass, see infra, p. 330. See 'Arukh, ed. 
Kohut, i. 24b. Does the "Great Synagogue" refer to the famous 
Synagogue of Alexandria ? 

1 See T.B. Sotah, 45b. 



70 RABBI ELIEZER 

belly of the fish and it gave illumination to Jonah, like this 
sun which shines with its might at noon ; and it showed 
to Jonah all that was in the sea and in the depths,^ as it is 
said, " Light is sown for the righteous " (Ps. xcvii. 11). 

The fish said to Jonah, Dost thou not know that my day 
had arrived to be devoured in the midst of Leviathan's 
mouth ? Jonah replied, Take me beside it, and I will 
deliver thee and myself from its mouth. It brought him 
next to the Leviathan. (Jonah) said to the Leviathan, 
On thy account have I descended to see thy abode in the 
sea, for, moreover, in the future will I descend and put a 
rope in thy tongue,^ and I will bring thee up and prepare ^ 
thee for the great feast of the righteous. ' (Jonah) showed 
it the seal of our father ^ Abraham (saying),*^ Look at the 
Covenant (seal), and Leviathan saw it and fled before Jonah 
a distance of two days' journey. (Jonah) said to it {i.e. the 
fish). Behold, I have saved thee from the mouth of Leviathan, 
show me what is in the sea and in the depths. It showed 
him the great river of the waters of the Ocean,' as it is 
said, " The deep was round about me " (Jonah ii. 5), and it 
showed him the paths of the Reed Sea^ through which 
Israel passed, as it is said, " The reeds were wTapped about 
my head " (ibid.) ; and it showed him the place whence 
the waves of the sea and its billows flow,^ as it is said, " All || 
thy waves and thy billows passed over me " {ibid. 3) ; and 

1 The first editions read here : " and concerning him [i.e. Jonah) the 
Scripture says." The Zohar, Exodus, 48a, offers a parallel to this 
sentence. 

» See Job xl. 25 (in Hcb. = R.V. xh. i). 

' The first editions read : " to sacrifice." 

* The feast of the righteous in the Messianic age is referred to by 
Jesus in Matt. xxvi. 29 ; sec also T.B. Baba Bathra, 74a, T.B. Chagigah, 
14b, and Aboth iv. 16, and cf. T.B. Sabbath, 153a. The " secret 
chambers of Leviathan " are referred to in Cant. Rab. i. 4 ; Eth. 
Enoch Ix. 7-9 describes the Leviathan and the Behemoth ; see also 4 Ezra 
vi. 49-52, and Apoc. Baruch xxix. 4. For further references see Charles' 
note on p. 115 of his ed. of Eth. Enoch, and J.E. viii. 37 f. ; see also 
Volz, Judische Eschatologie, pp. 351 and 365, and Jellinek, Beth 
Ha-Mtdrash. vi. pp. 150 f., on " Leviathan Banquet." 

* The first editions omit " our father." 

* The Venice edition reads : " he said." 

' The river of the waters of the ocean means the water which was 
supposed to surround the earth ; see 3 Baruch ii. i, Apoc. Pauli xxi., xxxi., 
Eth. Enoch xvii. 5f., Test. Abraham (A.N.C.L. extra vol.), viii. yi. wii. 

* See injra, p. 330, ami cf. J.Q.R. v. pp. 151 f. 

"This is the reading in Tanchuma Vajikra, § viii., and Jalkut. 
Jonah, § 530. 



THE HISTORY OF JONAH 71 

it showed him the pillars of the earth in its foundations, as 
it is said, " The earth with her bars for the world were by 
me " {ibid. 6) ; ^ and it showed him the lowest Sheol,^ as it is 
said, " Yet hast thou brought up my life from destruction,^ 
O Lord, my God" (ibid.); and it showed him Gehinnom,^ 
as it is said, " Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, ^ and thou 
didst hear my voice " {ibid. 2) ; and it showed him (what 
was) beneath the Temple of God, as it is said," (I went down) 
to the bottom of the mountains " ^ {ibid. 6). Hence we may 
learn that Jerusalem stands upon seven (hills'), and he 
saw there the Eben Shethiyah^ (Foundation Stone) fixed 
in the depths.^ He saw there the sons of Korah ^^ standing 
and praying over it. They^^ said to Jonah, Behold thou 
dost stand beneath the Temple of God, pray and thou wilt 
be answered. Forthwith Jonah said to the fish, Stand in 
the place where thou art standing, because I msh to pray. 
The fish stood (still), and Jonah began to pray before the 
Holy One, blessed be He, and he said : Sovereign of all the 

1 Cf. Ps. civ. 5 and T.B. Chagigah, 12b. 

- The Venice edition reads " Gehinnom." See T.B. 'Erubin, 19a. 
According to the Midrash Konen, p. 30, " there is one gate to Gehinnom 
in the sea of Tarshish." 

^ The last words of the quotation do not occur in the MS., but 
the first editions give them. 

* The first editions read : " the lowest Sheol." The lowest region 
in Gehenna; see infra, pp. 340 f., 343, 432 f. On the theories about 
Gehenna see Jellinek, Beth Ha-Midrash, i. pp. 147-149 ; Jerahmeel 
ix. II, xiii. 5, xiv. i ff. ; Eth. Enoch Ixiii. 10, with Charles' note, in loc. 

^ The first editions give the last words of this quotation, which are 
missing in the MS. 

^ The roots of the seven mountains in Jerusalem whereon the 
Temple rested. The mountains are designated in the O.T. as follows: 
Mount Zion, Mount Moriah, The Holy Mount, The Mount of my Holy 
Beauty, The Mount of the House of the Lord, The Mount of the Lord 
of Hosts, and The Lofty Mount of the Mountains. 

' Tlie word for " hills " is missing in the MS. ; some other word 
was inserted and then erased. It occurs in the Oxford MS. (d. 35). 
In the letter of Aristeas (83 f.) Jerusalem is described as being situated 
" on the top of a mountain of considerable altitude. On the summit the 
Temple had been built in all its splendour." 

* According to T.J. Joma v. 4, 42c, it was called Foundation 
Stone because the whole world was founded thereon ; see also T.B. 
Joma, 54b ; T.B. Synhedrin, 26b ; cf . Eth. Enoch, xviii. 2 ; and infra, 
p. 266. 

* The first editions read here : " beneath the Temple of God." 

^o Luria notes that according to Midrash Konen (p. 31) the "com- 
pany of Korah " are in the third department of Gehenna. Should the 
reading be " the company of Korah " instead of " the sons of Korah " ? 
Cf. J.Q.R. v. p. 152. 

" The Venice edition and Midrash Jonah, p. 98, read : " The fish said." 



72 RABBI ELIEZER 

Universe ! ^ Thou art called " the One who kills " and " the 
One who makes alive," behold, my soul has reached unto 
death, now restore me to life. He was not answered until 
this word came forth from his mouth, "What I have vowed 
I will perform " {ibid. 9), namely, I vowed to draw up 
Leviathan and to prepare '■^ it before Thee, I will perform 
(this) on the day of the Salvation^ of Israel, as it is said, 
" But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanks- 
giving" (ibid.).^ Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, 
hinted (to the fish) and it vomited out^ Jonah ]] upon 
the dry land, as it is said, " And the Lord spake unto the 
fish, and it vomited out Jonah ^ upon the dry land " {ibid. 
10). 

The sailors saw all the signs, the miracles, and the great 
wonders which the Holy One, blessed be He, did unto 
Jonah, and they stood and they cast away ' every one his 
God, as it is said, " They that regard lying vanities forsake 
their own shame "^ {ibid. 8). They returned to Joppa and 
went up to Jerusalem and circumcised the flesh of their 
foreskins, as it is said, "And the men^ feared the Lord 
exceedingly ; and they offered a sacrifice unto the Lord " 
{ibid. i. 16). Did they offer sacrifice ? ^^ But this (sacrifice) 
refers to the blood of the covenant of circumcision, which is 
like the blood of a sacrifice. ^^ And they made vows every 
one to bring his children and all belonging to him to the 
God ^2 of Jonah ; and they made vows and performed them, 

1 The first editions add : " Thou art called ' the One who brings 
up ' and ' the One who brings down." I have gone down, now 
bring me up." 

- The first editions read : " to sacrifice." See Midrash Jonah, p. 99. 

' This is the day of the Messianic judgment. For the idea of 
salvation in the Messianic age see Singer, pp. 49 (second paragraph), 
loi (last paragraph), and 129. See also Volz, op. cit. pp. 226 f. 

^ This quotiition is missing in the first editions. 

* The first editions read : " it cast forth." 

* The first editions continue the verse as in the translation ; the 
MS. omits " upon the dry land." 

^ The first editions add : " into the sea." 

* See Kimchi, in loc, for the meaning of Chesed. Kimchi quotes 
in his commentary on Jonah ii. 9 our passage with a variant reading. 

* The text of the Bible reads here " men," as in our MS., but the 
first editions read " the sailors." See Zohar, lix. 231a. 

'" The first editions add : " Is it not (a fact) that they do not accept 
sacrifices from the nations ? " See T.B. Menachoth, 73b, and cf. Paul's 
attitude towards the table of the idolaters of his daj' (see i Cor. x. 21). 

" Cf. Ex. Rab. xvii. 3 anJ 5. 

•* The first editions read : " They vowed and performed (it) that 



THE HISTORY OF JONAH 73 

and concerning them it says, " Upon the proselytes, the 
proselytes of righteousness." ^ 

each one should bring his wife and all his household to the fear of the 
God of Jonah." The " Phoboumenoi " and " Sebomenoi " correspond 
to these proselytes who fear God. On the subject see Schiirer, ii. 
ii. 311-319 (E.T.). 

1 This refers to the Shemoneh 'Esreh, the xiiiih benediction (Singer, 
p. 48, last paragraph). See also T.B. Megillah, 17b, and Midrasii 
Jonah, loc. cit. 

This chapter should be compared with the Midrash Jonah (ed. 
Jellinek, and td. Eisenstein, Ozar Midrashim, pp. 21 7b If.). Our book 
was the source used by the author of the Midrash. The variant 
readings which a comparison of the two texts affords may be illustrated 
by one example : instead of " the day of the salvation of Israel," the 
Midrash reads, " the day of my salvation." Again, the prayer of Jonah 
in the Midrash is considerably longer than that of P. R. E. 

The story of Jonah is interpreted in a fine Midrashic spirit by Zeno 
in his 17th tractate. Ephraim (29th chap, on the prophet Jonah) 
refers to Jonah's dread of being called a " lying prophet," and mentions 
also the dread inspired by Jonah among the terrible monsters of the 
deep. A very interesting point is suggested by a passage in Origen, 
contra Celsum, vii. 57, according to which Jonah was considered to be 
the Messiah in place of Jesus. Our book ascribes certain Messianic 
functions to Jonah in connection with the Leviathan and the Day of 
Israel's salvation. Perhaps he is a type of the " Messiah ben Jos?ph " 
who is to overcome the Anti-Christ or Satan {i.e. the Leviathan). 
The New Testament connects the story of Jonah with its Messiah ; 
see Matt. xii. 39-41 and ihid. xvi. 4 ; cf. Luke xi. 29-32. The 
" Fish " as a Christian Messianic emblem may be associated with the 
Jonah legends. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE WORK OF CREATION ON THE SIXTH DAY [I2b. i.] 

On the sixth day (God) brought forth from the earth all 
kinds of animals, male and female, clean and unclean. By 
two signs - are they declared to be clean : (the signs are) 
chewing the cud, and dividing the hoof.^ Three ^ kinds of 
animals were chosen for the sacrifice of a burnt-offering, 
namely, the ox, the lamb, and the goat. Every kind of 
clean animal which is neither Nevelah ^ {i.e. which has not 
been slaughtered according to the rules of Shechitah ^) nor 
Terephah' {i.e. torn) in the field ^ is permitted to be eaten, 
except with regard to three parts, namel)'', the fat, || the 
blood, and the sinew of the thigh,^ as it is said, " As the 
green herb have I given you all " (Gen. ix. 3).^" 

^ This is the tenth chapter in our MS. 

2 See T.B. Chullin, 59a, and supra, p. 60. The attention drawn 
to the ritual regulations of Shechitah and to the clean animals is what 
one would expect in a popular treatise for perusal in the home or 
Synagogue. This seems to be the tendency of much of the Pseud- 
epigrapha, such as the Book of Jubilees or the Testaments of the Twelve 
Patriarchs. The Jewish law as to clean animals is explained alle- 
gorically bj' the Epistle of Barnabas x. 

' See Lev. xi. 4. 

* See Tanchuma, Shemini, § vii. ; there are only these three kinds 
of clean animals. Cf. T.B. Chullin. 63b. 

^ This word is usually rendered " carrion." 

* On Shechitah see J.E. xi. 253 ff. 

' Terephah is interpreted to mean not merely the flesh of an animal 
torn in the field, but all animal flesh which has not been killed according 
to the rules of Shechitah. and which has become unfit for consumption 
according to Jewish law and custom. See Acts x. 14, for " unclean" 
food. 

* Thr Oxford MS. (d. 35) and some editions read here "its flesh." 
instead of " in the field." The Prague edition reads: "it is kasher" 
(ritually in order and permitted). Cf. Ex. xxii. 31, on which our text is 
based, and soe Baraitha of the 32 Middoth. rd. Reiffmann. p. 37. 

* See Gen. xxxii. 32. 

1" According to T.B. Synhedrin, 59b (and cf. Siphra, Shemini. ]>. ^Sa). 
animal flesh was permitted to the " sons of Noah." Had Adam 
not sinned, animal flesh would have been prohibited, says the Midrash 
Agadah, Genesis, p. 5. 

74 



CREATION ON SIXTH DAY 75 

On the sixth day (God) brought forth from the earth 
seven clean beasts ; ^ their slaughter and the method of 
consumption are similar ^ to the (rules observed) with a 
bird ; and all the rest of the beasts in the field are entirely ^ 
unclean. 

He ^ brought forth from the earth all kinds of abomina- 
tions ^ and creeping things, all of them are unclean.^ 
Such (creatures) which have been created from the earth, 
their life (or soul) and body are from the earth, and when 
they return they touch their dust ' at the place whence 
they were created, as it is said, " Thou takest away their 
breath, they die, and return to their dust " ^ (Ps. civ. 29) ; 
and it is written, " And the spirit of the beast goes down- 
ward to the earth " (Eccles. iii. 21).^ 

On the sixth day He brought forth from the earth a 
beast (Behemoth) which lies stretched out on a thousand 
hills 1° and every day has its pasture on a thousand hills, 
and overnight (the verdure) grows of its own account as 
though he had not touched it, as it is said, " Surely the 
mountains bring him forth food " (Job xl. 20). The waters 

1 The first editions add here : " namely, the hart, the gazelle, the 
roebuck, the wild-goat, the pygarg, the antelope, and the chamois." ^ 

^ The text is difficult to interpret ; as regards fowl, only " one 
sign " is essential for tiie ritual slaughter, whereas " two signs " are 
requisite in the case of the animals mentioned ; see T.B. Chullin, 71a, 
89b, and 92b. 

3 Lit. " all of them." 

■* The first editions read : " On the sixth day He brought forth." 

^Perhaps the original text was " Sherazim " (reptiles), instead of 
" Shekazim " (abominations); see, however, Deut. xiv. 3. The printed 
texts omit " kinds of." 

* And therefore not to be eaten. 

■^ The first editions read : " when they die they return to the place 
whence they were created." 

^ The first editions do not give the last clause of the quotation. 

' The distinction implied here between man and beast is in the origin 
of the spirit, that of man is heavenly whilst that of the beast is of the 
earth. 

1" Cf. Ps. 1. 10 and Job xl. 15, " Behold now Behemoth, which I 
made " ; see T.B. Baba Bathra, 74b, and Targum on Fs. 1. 10. Cf. supra, 
p. 63, note II, and see 4 Ezra (ed. Box), pp. 90 ff. The Leviathan 
was created, according to our author, on the fifth day, whereas the 
Behemoth was created on the sixth day ; see Jerahmeel v. and vi. ; 
Jalkut, Gen. § 12, and ].E. viii. 37 ff. ; and cf. Num. Rab. xxi. 18, 
and Lev. Rab. xxii. 10. On "Behemoth" see Midrash Konen, pp. 
20 and 37. 



1 See Deut. xiv. 5. The Venice ed. (1544) adds: " and all of them 
(as regards) their slaughter," etc. 



76 RABBI ELIEZER 

of the Jordan give him water to drink, for the waters of 
the Jordan surround all the earth,^ half thereof (flow) 
above the earth and the other half below the earth,- as 
it is said, " lie is confident, though Jordan swell even to 
his mouth " {ibid. 23). This (creature) is destined for the 
day of sacrifice, for the great banquet of the righteous,^ 
as it is said, " He only that made him can make his sword ' 
to approach imto him " {ibid. 19). 

The ^ Holy One, blessed be He, spake to the Torah : " 
" Let us make || man in our image, after our likeness " 
(Gen, i. 26). (The Torah) spake before Him : Sovereign 
of all the worlds ! The man ^ whom Thou wouldst ^ create 
will be limited in days and full of anger ; and he will come 
into the power of sin. Unless Thou wilt be long-suffering 
with him, it would be well for him not to have come into 
the world,^ The Holy One, blessed be He, rejoined : And 
is it for nought that I am called "slow to anger " i" and 
"abounding in love"? He began to collect the dust of 
the first man from the four corners of the world ; ^^ red, 

1 The first editions read: "the land of Israel." Cf. Eth. Enoch 
xxvi. 2 f . 

2 See T.B. Baba Bathra, loc. cit. , and cf . Gen. Rab. v. 8, and xxiii. ~. 

* See supra, p. 70. According to Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 3, the 
female companion of the I^eviathan is reserved for the Messianic 
Banquet; ct. Pal. Targ. on Gen. i. z. and cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, 75a. 
Gen. Rab. vii. .1, Lekach Tob, Gen. p. 14. 

* To slay him. 

° The first editions read : " Forthwith the Holy One," etc. 

* The Torah is the instrument in God's hand at theCreation; see supra, 
p. 12, and Gen. Rab. i. i. Cf. Midrash Konen, p. z^, based on Prov. iii. 
19. The idea was used by the author of the Epistle of Barnabas v. 5, 
vi. 12, where God is represented as consulting the Christ. According 
to other traditions of the Church and Synagogue, God consulted 
the ministering angels at the creation of man; cf. Midrash Agadali, 
Gen. p. 4, and Irenaeus, adv. H(Br. i. 24. 

'The first edition reads: "This man." The Venice edition has: 
" The world is Thine, this man," etc. 

® The Venice edition adds here: "is Thine." The idea exnress^^d 
by the next few words, " that man would have but few days," is to 
be compared with p. 125, infrct. The sentence is based on Job 
xiv. I. 

• See Matt, xviii. 6, and Eth. Enoch xxxviii. z. 

'"See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 212, and Test Abraham. 
A.N.C.L. (extra vol.) p. 102, and cf. Wisdimi xi. 23 f. 

" The first editions read : " earth." The Pal. Targum on Gen. ii. 7 
says : " And the Lord God created man with two inclinations ; and 
He took dust from the place of the House of the Sanctuary and from 
the four quarters of the world, and mixed (the dust) with all the 
waters of the world, and created him red, dark red (or brown), and 



CREATION ON SIXTH DAY 11 

black, white,^ and " pale green." ^ (which) refers to the 
body. 

Why (did He gather man's dust) from the four corners 
of the world ? ^ Thus spake the Holy One, blessed be He : 
If a man should come from the east to the west, or from 
the west to the east,* and his time comes to depart from 
the world, then the earth ^ shall not say. The dust of thy 
body is not mine,*^ return to the place whence thou wast 
created.' But (this circumstance) teaches thee that in 
every place where a man goes or comes,^ and his end ap- 
proaches when he must depart from the world, thence is the 
dust of his body, and there it returns to the dust, as it is 
said, "For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" 
{ibid. iii. 19). 

The day had twelve hours ; ^ in the first hour He collected 

white." It is evident that the Targum has used our book in this 
context. See also Tanchuma, Pekude, § iii. On the creation of Adam 
see T.B. Synhedrin, 38b, Zohar, Gen. 35b, ihid. 205b, and in^ra. 
Chapter XII. Cf. Griiiibaum, Beiirdge, pp. 54 ff. 

1 The first editions add the following : " and yellow. ' Red,' 
this is the blood ; ' black ' refers to the entrails ; ^ ' white ' refers to 
the bones and sinews." Cf. T.B. Niddah, 31a. 

2 Jalkut, Gen. S 13, reads as our MS., "pale green." The first 
editions read "yellow." Might the four colours indicate the different 
colours of the skin of men ? 

^ See Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Alalaii) i. xxxiv., and Slavonic 
Enoch XXX. 13; and cf. Tertullian, Against the Valentinians, xxiv,, 
and the Book of the Bee (ed. Budge), p. 16. 

* The first editions add : " or to any place where he may go." 

* The first editions add : " which is in that place." 

* The first editions add : " and I will not receive thee." 

' According to Gen. Rab. xx. 10, and Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. 
xxxi. fed. Friedmann), p. 164, the " return " of man to the dust is held 
to signify the resurrection. 

* The first editions read : " and his end comes to depart from the 
world, whence the dust of his body comes thence it returns, and that 
dust will raise its voice, as it is said," etc. 

* Luria thinks that the order of the hours of the day whereon 
Adam was created is a gloss added by a copyist who knew the legends 
of the Talmud ; cf . T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cit. See Aboth de R. Nathan 
((.') i. p. 3a; Pesikta Rabbathi, § xlvi. p. 187b, note 7 ; Lev. Rab. xxix. 
I ; Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. 3 ; Tanchuma, Shemini. § viii. R. Bechai on 
Gen. ii. 7 gives parallel readings to our text. The Church literature 
also has many legends of the Haggadic type concerning the creation 
of Adam; thus the Apostolic Constitutions, vii. 34, says: "Thou 
hast exhibited man (Adam) as the ornament of the world, 
and formed him a body out of the four elements." Irenaeu? 
{adv. HcBY. v. 23) says : " Adam sinned on the sixth day of the 

1 See T.B. Kerithoth, 22a ; perhaps the reference is to the liver 
and spleen. 



78 RABBI ELIEZER 

the dust for (the body of) Adam, in the second (hour) He 
formed it into a mass/ in the third (hour) He gave it its 
shape, in the fourth (hour) He endowed || it with breath,'^ 
in the fifth (hour) he stood on his feet,^ in the sixth (hour) 
he called the (animals by their) names, in the seventh 
(hour) Eve was joined to him (in wedlock), in the eighth 
(hour) they were commanded concerning the fruits of the 
tree, in the ninth (hour) they went up to (their) couch as 
two and descended as four, • in the tenth (hour) ^ they 
transgressed His commandment, in the eleventh (hour) 
they were judged, in the twelfth (hour) they were driven 
forth, as it is said, " So he drove out the man " {ibid. 24). 

And He formed *' the lumps of the dust of the first man 
into a mass ' in a clean place,^ (it was) on the navel ^ of 
the earth. He shaped him and prepared ^° him, but breath 
and soul were not in him. What did the Holy One, blessed 
be He, do ? He breathed with the breath of the soul of His 
mouth, and a soul was cast^^ into him, as it is said, "And 
he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life " {ibid. ii. 7). 

Creation." See also Aphraates, Homilies, ed. Wright, p. i68 ; other 
references are given by Ginzberg, Die Haggada bei den Kirchenvdtern, 
p. 50 ; and cf. Kohut in Z.D.M.G. xxv. pp. 59-94, and J E. i. 174 flf. 

1 See Hippolytus (in A.N.C.L. vi. p. 130) for Adam legends, zind cf. 
Clementine Homilies, ii. 

2 Or, "a soul was cast into him." The first editions read: "He 
cast a soul into him." See Jalkut, Gen. § 15, and Midrash Abkhir, 
and cf. W. R. Harper Memorial Vols. i. p. 258. 

' The first editions read : " He made him stand on his feet." 

* See Jubilees iii. 34, and cf. Gen. Rab. xxii. 2 and Book of Adam 
and Eve (cd. Malan) i. Ixxiii. Perhaps our book refers to the conception 
of Abel and his twin-sister. The Church Fathers deal with similar 
legends, see Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechism, xii. 6 ; cf. Schatzhohle, p. 7, 
and the Book of the Bee, p. 24. 

* The first editions add : " They were brought into the Garden 
of Eden and." This reading is contradicted by our book, see infra, 
p. 84. Sec also th'.- Book of the Bee, p. 23. 

* The story of man's creation is recapitulated here and in the next 
chapter. We have a collection of three variant accounts of the same 
legend. See Introduction. 

' See Pal. Targ. Gen. ii. 7 quoted supra, p. 76, nolo 11 ; Gen. Rab. 
xiv. 7 and 8 on the creation of Adam. See also T.J. Sabbath ii. 4, p. 5b. 

' Gen. Rab. xiv. 8 says: " He was created from the place of his 
atonement," i.e. the Temple. 

' Palestine ; see Ezek. xxxviii. 12 for the term " navel of the earth." 
See Jubil es viii. 12, 19; Eth. Enoch xxvi. i. ; the Book of the Bee, 
p. 17; and infra, p. 266. 

^^ i.e. adorned him with the faculties which distinguish man from 
the beast. 

'1 See supra, note 2, on this phrase; and cf. Gen. Rab. loc. cit. 






CREATION ON SIXTH DAY 79 

Adam stood and he began to gaze upwards and down- 
wards.i He saw all the creatures which the Holy One, 
blessed be He, had created ; and he ^ was wondering in his 
heart, and he began to praise and glorify his Creator, saying, 
" O Lord, how manifold are thy works ! " (Ps. civ. 24). ^ 
He stood on his feet and was adorned with the Divine 
Image. His height was from east to west, as it is said, 
" Thou hast beset me behind and before " {ibid, cxxxix. 5). 
" Behind " refers to the west, " before " refers to the east.^ 
All the creatures saw him and became afraid ^ of him, think- 
ing that he was their Creator, and they came to prostrate 
II themselves before him. 

Adam said to them : What (is this), ye creatures ! Why 
are ye come to prostrate yourselves before me ? ^ Come, 
I and you, let us go and adorn in majesty and might, and 

^ The first editions add here : " and his height was from one end of 
the world to the other/ as it is said, ' Thou hast beset me behind 
and before ' (Ps. cxxxix. 5). ' Behind ' refers to the west, ' before ' 
refers to the east." 

2 The first editions read : "he began to glorifv the Name of his 
Creator." 

3 This quotation from Ps. civ. is very appropriately placed 
in Adam's mouth, inasmuch as this psalm is a song of the 
Creation. 

* This passage in this connection is not in the printed texts. 

^ See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 22, and Eccles. Rab. to 
Eccles. vi. 10. The word "creatures" of our text reads "ministering 
angels" in the Midrashim. Slav. Enoch xxxi. 3 refers to the envy of 
Satan " because things were subservient to Adam on earth." See also 
Philo, G.T. i. p. 57, n. 3, and Wisdom ix. 2, x. 2. 

* Have we here a polemic against Gnostic doctrines ? See 
Freudenthal, Hellenistische Studien, p. 69. The idea of the first Adam 
being a " lower " God is reflected in the doctrine of the " Second 
Adam." See i Cor. xv. 45-49 for the " Second Adam," and cf. 
Hellenism and Christianity , pp. 44 f . 

^ See T.B. Chagigah, 12a ; and cf. Gen. Rab. viii. i and xxiv. 2. 
According to Ecclesiasticus xUx. 16 Adam was " above every hving 
thing in the creation " ; the Church Fathers have many legends as to 
the original state of Adam before he sinned ; see Basil, discourse on 
" God not being the cause of evil," vii., where the original glory of 
Adam in Paradise is described; Irenaeus, adv. Hcsr. i. 30. 6, refers 
to the legend of the immense size of Adam ; according to Chry- 
sostomus (Homilies on i Cor. xvii. 3) Adam was like an angel en- 
dowed with the gift of prophecy. See also Hilgenfeld, Die JUdische 
Apokalyptik, p. 230 f . For later views of Christian scholars see Diestel, 
op. cit. pp. 488 f. On Adam's creation see also Slav. Enoch xxx. 
10 ff. The Rabbis held different views on the question of the size of 
Adam's body; cf. T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, iia; Baba Bathra, 75a. Cf. 
Philo, de Mundi opific. Mi. 32 f. and 35, C.W. i. p. 39, § 136 f., and 
P- 4^. §51- 



80 RABBI ELIEZER 

acclaim as King over us the One * who created us. If 
there be no people to acclaim the king as king, the king 
acclaims himself.- If there be no people to praise the king, 
the king praises himself. In that hour Adam opened his 
mouth and all the creatures answered after him, and they 
adorned in majesty and might and acclaimed their Creator 
as King over themselves, and they said, " The Lord reigneth, 
he is apparelled with majesty " {ibid, xciii. 1).^ 

Ten kings ruled from one end of the world to the other. 
The first king was the Holy One, blessed be He, who rules 
in heaven and on earth, ^ and it was His intention to raise 
up kings on earth, as it is said, " And he changeth the times 
and the seasons ; ^ he removeth kings, and setteth up kings " 
(Dan. ii. 21). 

The second king was Nimrod, who ruled from one end 
of the world to the other, for all the creatures were 
dwelling in one place and they were afraid of the waters 
of the flood,'' and Nimrod was king over them,'^ as it is 
said, "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel "^ 
(Gen. X. 10). 

The third king was Joseph, who ruled from one end 
of the world to the other, as it is said, " And all the 

^ The Prague edition reads : " The Living One." The Slavonic Book 
of Adam and Eve (ed. Jagic, p. 9) speaks of Adam praising God in 
Paradise in company with the angels. 

2 The ist ed. reads this sentence thus: "Because the people 
acclaim the king and no king acclaims himself, if there be no people 
to acclaim him." The next sentence is omitted by the first editions; 
their text continues : " Adam went alone and acclaimed Him king 
first, and all the creatures (did likewise) after him, and he said, ' The 
Lord reigneth,' " etc. 

^ According to T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 31a. this psalm was recited 
in the Temple on the sixth day of the week. This custom still obtains 
in the Sjmagogue : see Singer, p. 83. 

* See Targumim (Rishon and Sheni) on Esth. i. i, T.B. 'Erubin, 
53a, T.B. Megillah, iia, where Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar, and Ahasuerus 
only are mentioned. The text of Neh. ix. 5, 6 was probably used by 
the writer of our Mid rash. Our book has been used by the writer of 
the Midrash of the Ten Kings ; see Horowitz, op. cit. pp. 39 f. 

* The MS. omits the rest of the quotation, which is given by the 
first editions. 

* Cf. Josephus, Ant. i. 4. i. 

' See infra, pp. ij^i-. and cf. Jalkut. Gen. § 62, and see Book of 
Jashar vii. 45, " And Nimrod reigned in the earth over all the 
sons of Noah " ; and cf. Jerahmccl xxxi. 20, Pal. Targ. Gen. x. 10, and 
Jalkut ii. § 211. A different explanation is given by Josephus, loc. cit. 

* On Nimrod see J.E. ix. 309 ff. and Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, 
pp. 44 f . 



CREATION ON SIXTH DAY 81 

earth came |1 into Egypt to Joseph " {ibid. xli. 57). It is 
not written here "Egypt came," ^ but "they came into 
Egypt," 2 for they brought their tribute and their presents 
to Joseph to buy (corn) ; for forty years he was second 
to the king,3 and for forty years he was king * alone, as 
it is said, " Now there arose a new king over Egypt " 
(Ex. i. 8).5 

The fourth king was Solomon, who reigned from one 
end of the world to the other, as it is said, " And Solomon 
ruled over all the kingdoms " (1 Kings iv. 21) ; and it says, 
" And they brought every man his present,^ vessels of 
silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, and armour, and 
spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year " {ibid. x. 25). 

The fifth king was Ahab, king of Israel, who ruled from 
one end of the world to the other,' as it is said, " As the Lord 
thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom,^ whither 
my lord hath not sent to seek thee " {ibid, xviii. 10). All 
the princes of the provinces ^ were controlled i" by him ; 
they sent and brought their tribute and their presents to 
Ahab. Are not all the princes of the provinces of the 
world two hundred and thirty-two ? ^^ as it is said, " Then he 
mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, 
and they were two hundred and thirty-two " {ibid. xx. 15). 

^ The first editions read : " ' Earth' is not written here, but ' and 
all the earth." " Earth or land would refer to Egypt alone, all the earth 
refers to all countries. 

- See infra, pp. 306 f., and cf. Gen. Rab. xc. 6. "The famine was 
restricted to Phoenicia, Arabia, and Palestine," says the Midrash. 

^ The first editions add : " of Egypt." 

* See T.B. Sotah, iia. Book of Jashar Iviii. 6; and cf. J.E. vii. 
248 ff. for " Joseph in Rabbinical literature." 

* The Oxford MS. (d. 35) adds " etc." The verse continues : " who 
knew not Joseph." Hence the inference that the new king did not 
know his predecessor Joseph. 

* The rest of the verse is omitted by our MS., but it is given by the 
first editions. On Solomon see J.E. xi. 439 f. 

' The first editions omit the words " who ruled . . . other." 

^ The first editions and our MS. do not continue the quotation, but 
add " etc." 

9 N'Dns'N or N'3i3x {eirapxla) , prefecture. 

1" Or, " were conquered." 

" The first editions read here : " Ahasuerus ruled over half the world, 
116 provinces, and by the merit of Esther 11 more provinces were 
added to him, as it is said, ' Ahasuerus who reigned, from India unto 
Ethiopia, one hundred and seven and twenty provinces ' " ^ (Esth. i. i). 

^ See Esth. Rab. on Esth. i. i and T.B. Megillah, iia, on the 127 
provinces. 

6 



82 RABBI ELTEZER 

The sixth king was Nebuchadnezzar, who ^ ruled from one 
end of the world to the other.- Moreover, he ruled over 
the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven, and they 
could not open their mouth except by the permission of 
Nebuchadnezzar, || as it is said,^ " And wheresoever the 
children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the 
fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand " 
(Dan. ii. 38). 

The seventh king was Cyrus,'' who ruled from one end of 
the world to the other, as it is said, " Thus saith Cyrus 
king of Persia,^ All the kingdoms of the earth hath the 
Lord, the God of heaven, given me " (2 Chron. xxxvi. 23). 
Ahasuerus ruled over half the world. Is not half the world 
but 116 provinces, as it is said, " This is Ahasuerus, who 
reigned from India unto Ethiopia" (Esth. i. 1)." 

The eighth king was Alexander ^ of Macedonia, who ruled 
from one end of the world to the other, as it is said, " And 
as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the 
west 8 over the face of the whole earth " (Dan. viii. 5). 
" Over the earth " is not written here, but " over the face 
of the whole earth." ^ And not only that, but he \\ished 
to ascend to heaven in order to know what is in heaven, 
and to descend into the depths in order to know what is in 

' See supra, p. 8i, note 7. 

- The MS. omits here the following passage, which occurs in this 
context in the first two editions : " as it is said, ' And wheresoever the 
children of men dwell'" (Dan. ii. 38). The preceding verse reads: 
" Thou, O king, art king of kings." 

' The first editions vary the quotation by reading Isa. x. 14 : 
" And there was none that moved the wing, or that opened the mouth, 
or chirped." This verse is applied by Isaiah to Sennacherib ; see infra, 
pp. 3gc If., for a reference to Nebuchadnezzar; and cf. Dan. ii. 37, and 
T.B. Sabbath, 149b. The printed texts differ from the MS. here by 
omitting any reference to the beasts of the field. 

^ On Cyrus as king of the earth see Jerahmeel Ixxviii. i. See 
also T.B. Megillah, 12a. and T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 3b. 

^ The MS. ends the quotation here ; the first editions continue till 
" earth," adding " etc.," which also occurs in the MS. 

* This paragraph in its context is peculiar to our MS. ; see supra, 
p. 81, note II. 

' On Alexander the Great in Rabbinic literature see J .E. i. 342 f., 
where a good bibliography is to be found at the end of the article. 
See also Jerahmeel, Index, p. 299, s.v. " Alexander." 

* The quotation in the MS. ends here ; the first editions agree in 
this instance. 

" The first editions add here : " that he might know what was at 
the ends of the earth." The phrase occurs in a modified form a few 
lines lower down in our MS. 



CREATION ON SIXTH DAY 83 

the depths, 1 and not only that, but he attempted to go to 
the ends of the earth in order to know what was at the ends 
of the earth. The Holy One, blessed be He, divided his 
kingdom ^ among the four corners (or winds) of the heavens, 
as it is said, " And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall 
be broken, and shall be divided towards the four winds of 
the heaven " {ibid. xi. 4). 

The ninth king is King || Messiah, who, in the future, will 
rule from one end of the world to the other,^ as it is said, 
" He shall have dominion also from sea to sea " (Ps. Ixxii. 8) ; ^ 
and another Scripture text says, " And the stone that smote 
the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth " 
(Dan. ii. 35).^ 

The tenth king will restore the sovereignty to its 
owners.^ He who was the first king will be the last king, 
as it is said, " Thus saith the Lord, the King ... I am the 
first, and I am the last;' and beside me there is no God " 
(Isa. xliv. 6) ; and it is written, " And the Lord shall be king 
over all the earth " (Zech. xiv. 9).^ 

^ See T.J. 'Abodah Zarah iii. i, 42c. 

* See Num. Rab. xiii. 14. 

^ Not merely over Palestine does the Messianic kingdom extend, 
but over the whole world. This universaUsm is noteworthy. 

* This verse is not given in the first editions. The verse continues : 
" And from the river unto the ends of the earth." 

^ See Jalkut, in loc, and Num. Rab. loc. cit. This verse was known 
to Josephus as a Messianic text ; see Ant. x. 10. 4. 

* The first editions read: " to its owner"; see infya, p. 130, and 
Maimonides, Hilkhoth Melakhim xi. 4. 

' The MS. ends quotation here ; the first editions continue the text. 

* The Messianic kingdom is universal in space, but not in time ; the 
kingdom of God which follows the kingdom of the Messiah will be 
eternal and universal. The first editions continue : " and the sove- 
reignty shall return to its (rightful) heirs and then, ' The idols shall 
utterly pass away. And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day ' 
(Isa. ii. 18, 17). And He will tend His flock and cause them to lie 
down, as it is written, ' I myself will feed my sheep, and I will cause 
them to lie down ' (Ezek. xxxiv. 15) ; and we shall see Him eye to 
eye, as it is written, ' For they shall see, eye to eye, when the Lord 
retumeth to Zion ' " (Isa. Iii. 8). 



CHAPTER XIP 

ADAM IN PARADISE [14a. ii.] 

With love abounding did the Holy One, blessed be He, love 
the first man, inasmuch as He created him in - a pure locality, 
in the place of the Temple,^ and He brought him into His 
palace,^ as it is said, " And the Lord God took the man, 
and put him into the garden of Eden ^ to dress it and to keep 
it" (Gen. ii. 15). From which place did He take him? 
From the place of the Temple, and He brought him into 
His palace, which is Eden, as it is said, " And he put him 
into the garden of Eden to dress it " {ibid.).^ Perhaps thou 
wilt say : ' To plough (the fields) and cast out ^ the stones 

* In the MS. this is ch. xi. 

* The first editions read : " from a pure and holy place. From 
which place did He take him ? From the site of the Temple." 

^ Man's body is an emblem of God's sanctuary. In the preceding 
chapter we are told that God gathered the dust to form the first man 
from the four corners of the earth, establishing thereby the right of 
every human being to live and to be buried in any part of the earth. 
A similar idea was known to Philo, de Muiidi optftc. Mi. 35, C.W. i. 
p. 42, § 51. As to the Temple being the site of Adam's origin 
see T.J. Na?;ir vii. 2, 52b. and Gen. Rab. xiv. 8, and cf. infra, 
p. 143. Eden was more than a mere garden. See T.B. Berakhoth, 

34b. 

* " Palace " recalls Dan. xi. 45. 

^ The words " lo dress it and to keep it " are missing in the MS., but 
they are found in the ist ed. 

•This does not occur here in the printed texts, which continue: 
" What labour then was there in the midst of the garden, that (the 
text) should say : ' to dress it and to keep it ' ? " According to Jubilees 
iii. 15, " Adam and his wife were in the garden of Eden for seven 
years tilling and keeping it, and we gave him work, and we in- 
structed him to do everything that is suitable for tillage." As we 
shall see, our book gives an allegorical interpretation of this " work 
in Eden." 

'' The first editions add here : " There was work (to be done) in the 
garden of Eden, namely, that he should prune the vines in the vine- 
yards." 

•* See Isa. xxviii. 24 for phraseology. 

84 



ADAM IN PARADISE 85 

from the ground.^ But did not all the trees grow up of 
their own accord ? ^ 

Perhaps thou wilt say : There was some other work (to 
be done) in the garden of Eden, (such as) to water the garden. 
But did not a river flow through and issue forth from 
Eden, and water the garden, as it is said, || " And a river 
went out of Eden to water the garden " (ibid. 10) ? 

What then is the meaning of this expression : "to dress 
it and to keep it " ? (The text) does not say " to dress it 
and to keep it " except (in the sense) of being occupied with 
the words of the Torah ^ and keeping all its commandments,'' 
as it is said, " to keep the way of the tree of life " {ibid. iii. 24). 
But the " tree of life " signifies only the Torah,*^ as it is 
said, "It is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon it " 
(Prov. iii. 18). 

And (Adam) was at his leisure in the garden of Eden, 
like one of the ministering angels.^ The Holy One, blessed 
be He, said : I am alone in My world and this one (Adam) 
also is alone in his ' world. There is no propagation before 
Me and this one (Adam) has no propagation in his life ; ^ 
hereafter all the creatures ^ will say : Since there was no 
propagation in his life,^ it is he who has created us.^" It is 

^ The first editions add : "or again, that he should pile up the sheaves 
or cut (the corn)." 

^ Cf. Gen. Rab. xiii. i. 

3 Torah means not merely the written word of God, but also its 
interpretation and implication. 

* The printed texts read differently here : " to keep the way of 
the tree of life." See Siphre, D ut. § 41. 

^ The Palestinian Targum renders Gen. ii. 15 as follows : " And the 
Lord God took the man from the mountains of worship, where he had 
been created, and made him dwell in the garden of Eden, to do service 
in the Law and to keep its commandments." A similar interpretation 
occurs in the Church Father Theophilus {To Avdolycus, ii. 24) and in the 
Slavonic Enoch xxxi. i : " And I made a garden in Eden in the East, and 
(I ordained) that he should observe the Law and keep the instruction." 

* Man is become " like one of us," was interpreted by the Midrash, 
Gen. Rab. xxi. 5, and Mekhilta, Beshallach, vi. p. 33a (n. 18 for 
parallels) as meaning: "like one of the ministering angels." This 
idea of the Midrash was known to Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph. Ixii. 

' Some texts read : " My." See Pal. Targum, Gen. ii. rS. 
« Lit. " before him." 

* Supra, p. 79, we read that the animals wished to worship Adam, 
thinking he was their Maker. The belief was prevalent in former days 
that all the animals in Paradise were endowed with speech and reasoning 
power. See Jubilees iii. 28 (n. 28), and Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 56, 60. 

^^ Our author may wish to refute the notion obtaining in some 
non-Jewish rehgions that God had physical oSspring. 



86 RABBI ELIEZER 

not good for man to be alone, as it is said, " And the Lord 
God said. It is not good for man to be alone ; I will make 
him an help meet for him ..." (Gen. ii. 18).^ 

Rabbi Jehudah said : - If he be worthy she shall be an 
help meet for him ; if not, she shall be against him to fight 
him.^ 

When the earth heard this expression •* thereupon it 
trembled and quaked, crying before its Creator : Sovereign 
of all worlds ! I have not the power to feed the multi- 
tude ^ of mankind. The Holy One, blessed be He, replied : 
I and thou will (together) feed the multitude ^ of mankind. 
They agreed to divide (the task) between themselves : the 
night was for the Holy One, blessed be He, || and the 
day (was apportioned) to the earth.'' What did the 
Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He created the sleep of 
life,' so that man lies down and sleeps whilst He sustains 

* Thereby divine attributes will not be given to him by the other 
creatures. They will perceive that man is not omnipotent. Our 
Midrash may also hint that Adam (first or Second Adam) was not 
the Creator. As we have pointed out, the view that the Second Adam 
was the Creator obtained in early Christian circles. See Gen. Rab. 
xii. 7. 

* The first editions insert here: "Do not read* (in Gen. ii. 18) 
k'negdo, ' meet for him,' but (read) I'negdo. ' against him.' " 

3 Jalkut. Gen. § 23, reads : " If he be fortunate she will correspond 
to him (and be in harmony with him) ; if not, she will oppose him." 
According to Rashi she will be a "lash" (" Nigdo ") to him; see 
Midrash Agadah on Gen. ii. 18. 

* i.e. of man's supremacy over it. Man was to increase and 
multiply, to fill the earth and to subdue it (Gen. i. 28). The Oxford 
MS. (d. 35) reads : " When the earth heard the expression help-meet." 

* Lit. sheep or herd. 

* See Ps. xlii. 8. 

' See Ps. iii. 5 ; T.B. Berakhoth, 58b ; Gen. Rab. xiv. g, and 
Shocher Tob, Ps. xxv. 2; and cf. infra, p. 253. For further 
references to Adam legends see Die Sagen der Juden, ed. Micha Josef 
bin Gorion, 191 3 (Anhang). Two volumes of this Midrashic collection 
have appeared, and in the appendix the sources are given for the 
legends deahng with the Creation, the Patriarchs, etc. Equally 
interesting and valuable are the Legends of the Jews, by L. Ginzberg ; 
the sources of the legends have not yet appeared in the promised 
final volume. Parallels to the Midrashim in Christian literature are 
dealt with by L. Ginzberg in his Haggada b. d. Kirchenvutern, i., Amster- 
dam, 1899. Parallels in Mohammedan literature are given by Geiger, 
Was hat Mohammed, etc., and M. Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 60 ff.. and in 
Z.D.M.G. xxxi. pi>. 183!?.; the monographs by Rahmer (on Jerome), 
Funk (on Aphraatcs), Gerson, and Goldfahn (on Justin Martyr) should 
be consulted for " Christian " Midrashic parallels. 

* Jerome employs this formula of Midrashic exegesis {e.g. on Zech. 
xiv. 20). 



ADAM IN PARADISE 87 

him and heals him and (gives) him hfe and repose, as it is 
said, " I should have slept : then had I been at rest " 
(Job iii. 13). The Holy One, blessed be He, supports (man) 
with 1 the earth, giving it water ; and it yields its fruit and 
food for all creatures — but the first ^ man's food "in toil^ 
shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life " (Gen. iii. 17). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, had compassion upon the 
first man (Adam), and, in order that he should not feel any 
pain. He cast upon him the sleep of deep slumber,^ and He 
made him sleep whilst He took one of his bones from his side 
and flesh from his heart ^ and made it into an help (meet for 
him) and placed her opposite to him. When he awoke from 
his sleep he saw her standing opposite to him.^ And he said, 
" Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh " {ibid. ii. 23). 
As long as he was alone he was called Adam (man).' 

Rabbi Jehudah ^ said : Because of the name Adamah 
(ground) whence he was taken, his name was called Adam. 
Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : He was called Adam because 
of his flesh and blood {dclrn ^). He said to him : Adam ! 

^ The first editions read : " supports the earth." 

* The first editions omit : " the first." 

^ Or " sorrow/' see 4 Ezra vii. 12, and Jewish Sources of the Sermon 
on the Mount, p. 191. 

* The deep sleep made Adam insensible to pain ; cf . T.B. Synhedrin, 
39a. Tertullian, De Anima, xhii., discusses the " sleep " of Adam. 

^ See Pal. Targ. Gen. ii. 21. According to the Lekach Tob, Gen. ii. 
21, Eve was made from the sixth rib. Theophilus, op. cit. xxviii., 
discusses why Eve was formed from Adam's rib. 

* A similar expression is used by the Book of Jashar i. 4. 

' According to the Talmud (T.B. Jebamoth, 63b) an adult male 
who lives without a wife is not called man (" Adam "). This designa- 
tion was given w^hen God blessed the first pair. This view is opposed 
by our author. 

* The first editions omit till " R. Joshua ben Korchah." 

* See 'Arukh, ed. Kohut, i. p. 34b: "The first man was called 
Adam because of the word for earth (Adamah), whence he was taken ; " 
and see ibid. p. 307a for another version. The Church Fathers also find 
fanciful interpretations of the name of the first man. Augustine on 
the Gospel of John ix. 14 explains the four letters of Adam's name 
(in Greek) as referring to the East, West, North, and South. Cf. 
Slavonic Enoch xxx. 13, and Sibylline Oracles iii. 24-26. Augustine 
{op. cit. X. 12) gives the numerical value of Adam as 46, pointing out 
that the Temple had stood 46 years at the time of the death of the 
Founder of Christianity. The Rabbis were not the only people who 
had recourse to " Gematria." The first editions add the following 
paragraph : " Immediately he embraced her and kissed her,^ and he 
said : Blessed art thou of the Lord,^ thy bone is from my bones 

^ Cf. Gen. Rab. xxiii. 5. 

* Cf. Ruth iii. 10 for similar phraseology. 



I 



88 RABBI ELIEZER 

Adam ! And when an help-mate had been built for him, his 
name was called csh (fire), and she (was called) csli (fire).^ 

What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He put 
His name (n') between their (names), saying : If they go 
in My ways || and keep all My precepts, behold My name is 
given to them,- it will deliver them from all distress. If 
they do not (walk in My ways), behold I will take away My 
name from their (names), and they will become tsh (fire).^ 
And fire consumes fire, as it is said, " For it is a fire that 
consumeth unto destruction " (Job xxxi. 12).* 

The Holy One, blessed be He, made ten wedding canopies^ 
for Adam in the garden of Eden. They were all (made) of 
precious stones, pearls, and gold. Is it not a fact that only 
one wedding canopy is made for every bridegroom,® whilst 
three wedding canopies are made for a king ? ' But in order 
to bestow special honour upon the first man, the Holy One, 
blessed be He, made ten (wedding canopies) in the garden of 
Eden, as it is said, "Wast thou in Eden the garden of 
God ; was every precious stone " thy covering, the sardius, 
topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, 
the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold ? " 
(Ezek. xxviii. 13).^ Behold these are the ten canopies. 
The angels were playing upon timbrels and dancing with 

and it is becoming for thcc to be called woman [ishah), as it is 
said." 

* The first editions read : " When an help- mate, a woman (ishah), 
had been built for him, his name was called man (ish), and she was 
called woman (ishah)." 

* Ish (ty-N) and ishah (nifN) have the letters Yod (') and Heh (n) 
apart from the letters rx which they have in common. See Jerah- 
meel vi. i6, and cf. Pal. Targ. Ex. xxviii. 30, on the Ineffable 
Name. 

3 By removing the letters Yod and Heh from the Hebrew words 
ish and ishah each word spells esh, fire; and see T.B. Sotah, 17a. 

'' See'Arukh, s.v. " Adam" and s.v. "esh," and cf. T.B. Sotah, 5a. 

"* The canopy used at Jewish weddings is still called Chuppah. 
The word may also mean Wedding Chamber. For further details, 
see Jewish EncyclopcBdia, s.v.\ and cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, 75a; Gen. 
Rab. xviii. i; Jalkut, Gen. §20; and Biichler in Monatsschrijt, xlix., 
1905, pp. 18 ft., and in J.Q.R. (New Series) iv. pp. 490 f. 

* See Ps. xix. 5. 

^ See Cant. iii. 9-1 1. 

* The rest of the ver.se is omitted by the MS. and the first editions, 
which read : " etc." 

* On this verse see Hellenism and Christianity, pp. 99 f. The ten 
canopies are apparently indicated by the nine precious stones and 
gold as mintioned in the verse. Menorath lia-^Iaor, § 205, states that 
the Messiah will have ten canopies. See also B.H.M. iii. p. 60. 



ADAM IN PARADISE 89 

pipeSji as it is said, " The workmanship - of thy tabrets 
and of thy pipes was with thee " (ibid.). 

On the day when the first man was created, as it is said, 
" In the day when thou^ wast created they were prepared " 
(ibid.), the Holy One, blessed be He, said to the ministering 
angels : Come, let us descend and render loving service to 
the first man and to his help-mate, for the world rests upon 
the attribute of the service of loving-kindness.^ The Holy 
One, blessed be He, said : More beloved is the service of loving- 
kindness than the sacrifices and burnt-offerings which Israel 
will bring in the future upon the altar before Me, as it is 
said, II " For I desire love, and not sacrifice " (Hos. vi. 6).^ 

The ministering angels were going to and fro and walking 
before him like friends who guard the wedding canopies,^ as 
it is said, " For he shall give his angels charge over thee,' 
to keep thee in all thy ways " (Ps. xci. 11). (The word) 
'"''way^'' here means only the way^ of bridegrooms. The 
Holy One, blessed be He, was like a precentor.^ What is the 

^ The first editions read : " like females." ^ See Jalkut Makhiri, 
Ps. xci. p. 46a. 

2 The Hebrew here {Melekheth) suggests angels [Mdldkhim). The 
Midrashim which deal with the "Canopies" are numerous. The 
subject has not been considered in all its bearings. The Jewish Messiah 
will be married, hence the " Canopies," for his wedding. This is 
probably a disguised attack on the Christian exaltation of the un- 
married state, as exemplified by the Founder of the Christian Church. 
The discussion on the Canopies is to be found also in Lev. Rab. xx. 2 ; 
Eccles. Rab. viii. i ; Jalkut, Eccles. § 764. According to Dr. Biichler 
{J.Q.R., New Series, iv. pp. 490 f.) the word Chuppah might be rendered 
" bower." One also thinks of cave or cavern in this connection. 
According to the Schatzhohle, p. 7, Adam had one cave after his expul- 
sion from Paradise; see also Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. v. 

^ Adam. 

* On Gemilluth Chasadim (Service of Loving-kindness) see Paul 
Goodman, Die Liebestdtigkeit im Judentum, and Bergmann, in Soziale 
Ethik im Judentum, pp. 51 ff., and see infra. Chapter XVI. 

* See infra, p. 107. 

* The reading in Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. ciL, isas follows : " And the 
ministering angels were going before him like friends who guard the 
wedding canopies, as it is said, ' For he shall give his angels charge 
over thee, to guard thee on all thy ways'" (Ps. xci. 11). The first 
editions read : " ministering angels were like groomsmen." 

' The MS. quotes this verse up to " thee " ; the entire verse is given 
by the first editions. 

* See Prov. xxx. 19. 

® Our text is preserved in Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., and cf. 
Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. xcii. p. 46a. The precentor is the Chazan. The 
period when the Chazan became the Reader of the prayers is that 

^ The Hebrew in the text has the same root as the word for female. 



90 RABBI ELIEZER 

custom observed by the precentor ? He stands and blesses 
the bride in the midst of her wedding chamber.^ Likewise 
the Holy One, blessed be He, stood and blessed Adam and 
his help-mate, as it is said, " And God blessed them " 
(Gen. i. 28y- 

of the Geonim. See Sopherini, x. 7, xi. 3, 5, and xiv. 14 ; Eppenstein's 
article in Monatsschrift, lii., 1908, pp. 467 ft., and infra, p. 109. 

1 Qr canopy. 

2 This indicates the sacred nature of matrimony, which is aptly 
termed Kiddushin (sanctification). See Gen. Rab. xviii. 2 for the 
marriage of Adam and Eve. 



CHAPTER XIIIi 

THE SERPENT IN PARADISE [15 A. ii.] 

" Envy, cupidity, and ambition remove man (Adam) from 
the world." ^ The ministering angels ^ spake before the 
Holy One, blessed be He, saying : Sovereign of all Worlds ! 
" What is man, that thou shouldst take note of him ? " 
(Ps. cxhv. 3). " Man (Adam) is hke unto vanity " ^ {ibid. 4), 
upon earth there is not his like.^ (God) answered them : 
Just as all of you praise Me in the heights of heaven so he 
professes My Unity on earth, ^ nay, moreover, are you able 
to stand up and call the names for all the creatures which I 
have created ? They stood up, but were unable (to give the 
names). Forthwith Adam stood up and called the names for 
all His creatures, as it is said, " And the man gave names 
to all cattle " (Gen. ii. 20). When the ministering angels 
saw this they retreated,' and the ministering angels said : 
If we do not take || counsel against this man so that he sin 
before his Creator, we cannot prevail against him.^ 

^ In our MS. this is ch. xii. 

2 This is taken from Aboth iv. 28. The three sins enumerated 
brought about the sin and punishment of Adam and Eve. See Aboth 
de R. Nathan {a) i. and {b) i. ; T.B. Synhedrin, 59b; and infra, p. 125. 

^ The parallel text preserved in the Midrash Haggadol, Gen. (ed. 
Schechter), c. 86, reads : " the subordmate angels became jealous of him." 

* According to our author, if Adam had not sinned he would have 
lived for ever. See Z.D.M.G. xxxi. p. 232. 

» See Job xli. 33 (Heb. xli. 24), and cf. infra, p. 265. 

* Lit. " in the lower regions." See Jalkut, Gen. § 25. According 
to Slavonic Enoch xxx. 2, Adam in Paradise sees the heavens open 
" that he should perceive the angels singing the song of triumph." 

' Or, " they retraced their steps," or " betook themselves back- 
ward." This is missing in the first two editions. On the theme see 
Gen. Rab. xvii. 4. 

* See infra, pp. 367 f., 436, and cf. Jerahmeel xxii. i. The 
spirit animating the angels in desiring the fall of man is that of 
jealousy; this explains the "envy" quoted from Aboth iv. at the be- 
ginning of the chapter. 

9' 



92 RABBI ELIEZER 

Sammael was the great prince in lieaven : ^ the Chajjoth ^ 
had four wings and the Seraphim had six \vings, and 
Sammael had twelve wings. What did Sammael do ? He 
took his band ^ and descended ' and saw all the creatures 
which the Holy One, blessed be He, had created in His world 
and he found among them none so skilled to do evil as the 
serpent, as it is said, " Now the serpent was more subtil ^ 
than any beast of the field " {ibid. iii. 1). Its appearance 
was something like that of the camel, ^ and he ' mounted and 
rode upon it.^ The Torah began to cry aloud, saying, Why, 
O Sammael ! now that the world is created, is it the time ^ to 
rebel against the Omnipresent ? Is it like a time when thou 
shouldst lift up thyself on high ? i" The Lord of the world 
" will laugh at the horse and its rider " ^^ (Job xxxix. 18). 

A parable, to what is the matter like ? ^^ To a man in 

* At first the " great prince " was Sammael, but after his fall 
Michael is "the great prince"; cf. T.B. Chagigah, 12b. On Sam- 
mael and Michael see mfra, pp. 192 f., and J.E. x. 665 f. (s.v. 
Samael). 

^ The Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit.. reads: " The Chajjoth with four wings 
and the Seraphim with six wings." Our text and Jalkut {loc. cit.) are 
parallel texts ; the printed texts differ slightly. The first editions read : 
" The Chajjoth and the Seraphim ^vith six wings." The Midrash Hagga- 
dol (Genesis), loc. cit., differs in the arrangement, and omits the reference 
to the Chajjoth. 

* i.e. troop of angels obeying him. See Geigcr, op. cit. pp. toi f. 

* See iw/ra, pp. 99, 193!. 1 he v, ord m^i, "descended," recalls Eth. 
Enoch vi. 6, and Jubilees iv. 15 ; cf. Luke x. 18. 

° Our MS. ends quotation here, adding " etc." 

" The Serpent had the appearance of the camel prior to the punish- 
ment meted out to it by God. On the theme see T.B. 'Erubin, i8a; 
T.B. Sj^nhedrin, 59b; Gen. Rab. xix. i ; Zohar, Ex. 136a ; and Aboth 
de R. Nathan (a) i. p. 3a. In the Slavonic Book of Adam and Eve 
(ed. Jagic, p. 26) Satan uses the Serpent to deceive Eve. See 
Archelaus, "Disputation with Manes," in A.N.C.L. xx. p. 344, for a 
parallel. 

' Sammael, or Satan. See Ascension of Isaiah i. 8. 

® The Midrash Haggadol, Gen. loc. cit., adds : " and betook himself 
to mislead the man." 

^ The MS. veads'dd, the first editions read 'is (time) ; so also Midrash 
Haggadol, loc. cit. 

1" This is quoted from Job xxxix. 18. The R.V. renders. " What 
time she lifteth up herself on high." The verse is intended to illustrate 
Sammael's sin in approaching Eve and causing Adam to rebel. Accord- 
ing to TertuUian, de Patient, v., the Evil One "impatiently bore that 
the Lord God subjected the universal works " to man. This led on to 
his " envy." He deceived him because he envied him. 

'1 The R.V. reads: "She scorneth the horse and his rider." 
The " horse " is applied in the Midrash to the Serpent and " the 
rider " to Sammael. 

'^ The deed of Sammael is illustrated by the parable. 



THE SERPENT IN PARADISE 93 

whom there was an evil spirit. All the deeds which he 
does,^ or all the words which he utters, does he speak by 
his own intention ? Does he not act only according to the 
idea of the evil spirit, which (rules) over him ? So (was it 
with) the serpent. All the deeds which it did, and all the 
words which it spake, it did not speak ^ except by the 
intention of Sammael. Concerning him, the Scripture says, 
" The wicked is thrust down in his evil-doing " (Prov. 
xiv. 32).3 

A parable, to what is the matter like ? To a king || who 
married a woman and made her supreme over all that he 
had.^ He said to her : All that I have shall be in thy 
hands, except this house,^ which is full of scorpions. A 
certain old man visited her ; he asks, for instance,** for 
vinegar. He said to her : Wilt thou argue that he deals 
kindly with thee ? ' He deals with me (thus) : over all that 
he possesses has he made me supreme. Thus said he to her : 
Behold, all that I have is given into thy hands except this 
house,^ which is full of scorpions. (The old man) said to her : 
Is not all the jewellery^ of the king indeed in this house ^? 
But 9 he wishes to marry another woman, and to give them 
to her. The king is the first man (Adam), the woman is 
Eve, and the one who asked for vinegar is the serpent ;i" 
and concerning them (the text) says, " There are the workers 
of iniquity fallen, they are thrust down, and shall not be 
able to rise" ^^ (Ps. xxxvi. 12). 

1 The first editions add : " does he do them at his own suggestion ? " 

2 The first editions read : " it neither spake nor did." 

3 Cf. the version in Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit. 

* The first editions add : " consisting of precious stones and 
pearls." 

5 The first editions read "cask" (rran), and so throughout tlie parable ; 
this is more correct than " house " (n'nn) in our text. 

* This expression is omitted in the Amsterdam edition of 1708 and in 
the Dyhrenf iirth edition. The vinegar was used by the poor for dipping 
therein their bread ; see Aboth de R. Nathan [a) xx. p. 36a. 

' The first editions read here : " How does the king treat thee ? 
She said to him : All that he possesses has he given to me and left 
in my hands except this cask." 

^ Kosmin (Koafxos). jewellery; see'Arukh, s.v. 'Dip. The reading in the 
first editions is corrupt. 

» The first editions read : " He spake not thus to thee save for the 
rea.son that he wishes to marry another woman." 

1" For a variant parable to illustrate the theme taken from Aboth 
de R. Nathan (a) i. p. 3b, see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 29. 

11 The printed editions omit the second half of the verse. 



94 RABBI ELIEZER 

The serpent argued with itself, saying : If I go and speak 
to Adam, I know that he will not listen to me, for a man 
is always hard ^ (to be persuaded), as it is said, "For a man 
is churlish and evil in his doings " (1 Sam. xxv. 3) ; but 
behold I will speak to Eve,'- for I know that she will listen 
to me ; for women listen to all creatures, as it is said, " She 
is simple and knoweth nothing " (Prov. ix. 13). The serpent 
went and spake to the woman: ^ || Is it ^(true that) you also 
have been commanded concerning the fruit of the tree ? ^ 
She said (to him) : Yes, as it is said, " Of the fruit of the tree 
which is in the midst of the garden " (Gen. iii. 3). And when 
the serpent heard the words of Eve, he found a way ® through 
which he could enter (to approach her), so he said to her : 
This precept is nought else except the evil eye, for in the 
hour when ye eat thereof, ye will be like Him, a God. Just 
as ' He creates worlds and destroys worlds,^ so will ye be 
able to create worlds and to destrov worlds. Just as He 
slays and brings to life, so also will ye be able to kill and 
to bring to life, as it is said, " For God doth know that in 

* See Gen. Rab. xvii. S to illustrate the notion that a man 
is more easily appeased than a woman. The quotation from i Sam. 
is not in the printed editions. The Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 87, 
reads: "for Sammael has no authority over man because he is 
hard." 

* The first editions read here : " the woman whose mind is feeble." 
Slavonic Enoch xxxi. 6 tells us how Satanail or Satan " conceived 
designs against Adam ; in such a manner he entered and deceived Eve. 
But he did not touch Adam." The " evil eye " mention;! in our text, 
infra, might be rendered "envy." 

^ For a Christian Midrash on this theme see " Fragments from the 
lost writings of Irenseus " in A. N.C.L. ix. p. 166. 
■* The first editions add the words in brackets. 

* The text is probably corrupt here ; Luria suggests that instead of 
the words " this tree " which occur in the printed texts we should 
read "this garden." This agrees with the reading preserved in the 
Oxford MS. (d. 35), and in Jerahmeel xxii. 2. According to the reading 
" this tree," the answer desired by the Serpent would not have been 
forthcoming. By asking about the " fruit of the garden" the Serpent 
was enabled to mislead Eve. The Talmud (T.B. Synhedrin, 29a) lays 
stress on the addition to the Divine command made by Eve when 
she said, " neither shall ye touch it" (Gen. iii. 3). Our MS. intends 
the question to be quite general : " Is it a fact that you have been 
commanded (not to eat) the fruit of any tree ? " This agrees with the 
Midrash Haggadol, Gen. loc. cit. 

* Lit. " opening." See TertuUian, de Patient., lot. cit. 
' The first editions read : " What does He do ? " 

* This idea of being able to create other worlds has a parallel in 
Slavonic Enoch xxxi. 3 : " And the devil took thought, as if wishing 
to make anothey world." 



THE SERPENT IN PARADISE 95 

the day ye eat thereof,^ then your eyes shall be opened " 
{ibid. 5). 2 

The serpent went and touched the tree, which commenced 
to cry out, saying : ^ Wicked One ! do not touch me ! as it 
is said, " Let not the foot of pride come against me, and 
let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. There are 
the workers of iniquity fallen " ^ (Ps. xxxvi. 11, 12). 

The serpent went and said to the woman : Behold, I 
touched it, but I did not die ; thou also mayest touch it, 
and thou wilt not die.^ The woman went and touched the 
tree, and she saw the angel of death ** coming towards her ; 
she said : Woe is me ! I shall now die, and the Holy One, 
blessed be He, will make another woman ^ and give her to 
Adam,^ but behold I will cause || him to eat with me ; if we 
shall die, we shall both die,^ and if we shall live, we shall 
both live. And she took of the fruits of the tree, and ate 
thereof, and also gave (of its fruits) to her husband, so that 
he should eat with her, as it is said, " And she took of the 
fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband 
with her " (Gen. iii. 6). When Adam had eaten of the fruit 
of the tree, he saw that he was naked,!'' and his eyes were 
opened, and his teeth were set on edge. He said to her : 
What is this that thou hast given me to eat, that my eyes 
should be opened and my teeth set on edge ? ii Just as my 

1 The MSS. end the quotation here, but add " etc." ; the first editions 
continue the verse. 

2 Our MS. ends here the 12th chapter. 

3 See Aboth de R. Nathan (a) i. p. 2b, the tree cried out when Eve 
stared at it and (desired its fruit). See also Jerahmeel xxii. 3. 

* The MSS. give only the verse from Ps. xxxvi. 11; the first 
two editions omit the second half of this verse and add the first half 
of the next verse. 

s The Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 88, adds : " Forthwith the woman 
saw that the tree was good for food." See Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. 
cit., and Pal. Targum, Gen. iii. 6. 

» According to the Pal. Targum {loc. cit.), "and the woman beheld 
Sammael, the angel of death, and she was afraid." 

' The printed editions add : " for him." 

* See Tertulhan, de Patient., loc. cit., where Adam is described as 
" not yet Eve's husband." 

9 See a similar Midrash in the Church Father Ephraim, Comm. in 
Gen. vol. i. p. 35. 

^<* See infra, p. 98. 

" The first editions add : " against my knowledge." See Jer. 
xxxi. 29, 30, and Ezek. xviii. 2. For the Rabbinic sources dealing 
with the Serpent, Eve, and Adam see Tosephta Sotah iv. (end) ; T.B. 
Sotah, 9a ; Gen. Rab. xix. 4 ; Pesikta Rabbathi, § xv. p. 68b ; Tanchuma, 



96 RABBI ELIEZER 

teeth were set on edge, so shall the teeth of all generations 
be set on edge.^ 

Lekach Tob and Jalkut, in loc. ; and see Midrash Agadah and Rashi 
on Gen. iii., and cf. Jerahmcel xxii. ; sec also Rabbinic Philosophy and 
Ethics, pp. 27 ff.; Ginzbcrg, Legends of the Jews, vol. i. pp. 71 ii. ; and 
F. R. Tennant, The Fall and Original Sin, 190 s, pp. 152 and 158. 

' See the parallel version from Gen. Rab. xix. 5, translated in 
Rabbinic Philosophy atid Pthics, p. 28, and cf. Aboth de R. Nathan. 
loc. cit., Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 90, " their teeth and the teeth of 
all generations." According to Slavonic Enoch xxx. 16: "Therefore 
his ignorance is a woe to him that he should sin, and I appointed 
death on account of his sin." The expression " to .set the teeth on 
edge" in our text means "paying the penalty." See also 4 Ezra 
iii. 7. 



i 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE [16a. ii.] 

Ten descents upon the earth ^ were made by the Holy One, 
blessed be He ; they were : (1) Once in the Garden of Eden ; 

(2) once at (the time of) the generation of the Dispersion ; 2 

(3) once at Sodom ; ^ (4) once at the thorn-bush ; ^ (5) once 
in Egypt ; ^ (6) once at Sinai ; « (7) once at the cleft of 
the rock ; ^ (8) and (9) twice in the tent of Assembly ; * 
(10) once in the future.^ 

Once in the Garden of Eden ; whence do we know ? 
Because it is said, " And they heard the voice of the Lord 
God walking in the garden ^^ in the cool of the day " (Gen. 
iii. 8). And it is written," " My beloved ^^ is gone down to 

1 See Siphre, Numbers, § 93 ; Mekhilta Jethro. 3, p. 64a ; Aboth de R, 
Nathan (a) xxxiv. Other parallels are given by Schechter, p. 51b, note 32 
of his edition of Aboth de R. Nathan. The other descents are mentioned 
in Chapters XXIV., XXV., XXXIX., XL., XLL, XLVI.. and LIII. 

2 Cf. infra, pp. 176 1., and Gen. Ralj. xxxviii. 9. 

^ See infra, p. 179, and Gen. Rab. xlviii. 7 ; and cf. Jalljut, Gen. § 27, 
which reads : " Once in Egypt, once at the thorn-bush, once at Sinaii 
once at the cleft of the rock." The reference to Egypt will be dis- 
cussed infra, p. 303. 

* See T.B. Megillah, 29a, and cf. infra, p. 312. 

* This is not in the first editions. See supra, note 3. 

« See Mekhilta Jethro, g, p. 72b ; and cf. infra, p. 318. 

' Cf. infya, p. 365. The reading in the first two editions is : "twice 
at the cleft of the rock." This is probably incorrect ; see supra, note 3, 
and cf. Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. cit. 

^ See infra, p. 433. Here also we should read, " Once in the tent of 
Assembly." Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. cit., has this reading, and refers 
to Num. xi. 25. 

9 Aboth de R. Nathan {loc. cit.) refers here to Zech. xiv. 4. The 
ninth and tenth descents are to be in the future also : see Siphre, loc. 
cit.; T.B. Sukkah, 5a; and Othijoth de R.'A^iba, letter He (Tellinek, 
B.H.M. iii. p. 24). ^ 

'0 In the MS. the quotation ends here, the fiirst editions continue 
the verse. 

11 The first editions have : " And another text says." 

1* The " beloved " is God. This verse is quoted because it contains 
the verb (nT) "to descend." 

7 



98 RABBI ELIEZER 

his garden, to the beds of spices " (Cant. vi. 2). (God) sat 
in judgment,! and He judged with judgment. He said to 
him (Adam) : Why didst thou flee - before Me ? He answered 
Him : I heard Thy voice ^ and my bones trembled, ' as it 
is said, " I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, 
II because I was naked : and I hid myself " (Gen. iii. 10). '' 

What was the dress of the first man ? A skin of nail,^ 
and a cloud of glory covered him. When he ate of the fruits 
of the tree, the nail-skin was stripped off him,' and the cloud 
of glory departed from him, and he saw himself naked, 
as it is said, " And he said. Who told thee that thou wast 
naked ? ^ Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded 
thee?" {ibid. 11). 

Adam said before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign 
of all worlds ! When I was alone, I did not sin against Thee. 
But the woman whom Thou hast brought to me enticed me 

' See Gen. Rab. xx. 2 ft. for the judgment of the Serpent, Eve, and 
Adam. The first editions read here : " He sat in a judgment of truth, 
the Judge of righteousness and truth. He called to Adam and said 
to him." Cf. I'm pM^ (Burial Service) in Singer, pp. 3181. 

- For similar phraseology see Ps. cxxxix. 7. This psalm is interpreted 
by the Midrashim as referring to Adam ; see infra, p. 143. 

^ The first editions read : " I heard the report of Thee." Cf . 
Hab. iii. 2 and Cant. Rab. iii. 6. 

* See Job iv. 14 for a similar expression. 

* The first editions read here : "And I hid myself from my deed, and 
I was afraid of my deed, for I was bare of (the fulfilment of) mv com- 
mandment, ^ as it is said, ' For I was naked ' " (Gen. iii. 10).- 

* The dress of Adam and Eve was, according to the Pal. Targum, 
Gen. iii. 7, "onyx-coloured " ; cf. Gc-n. Rab. xx. 12 The legend of an 
original skin of nail is preserved in the custom which still obtains 
among orthodox Jews, who gaze at their nails with the Habdalah 
light at the termination of the Sabbath. Dr. S. Daiches considers this 
custom as a relic of nail magic (see Jews' College Publications, v. 
pp. 31 f. n. i). According to the Church Father Ephraim, op. cit. p. 
139, Adam and Eve lost their angelic endowments immediately after 
their sin, their sight and power of discerning became limited only to 
matters corporeal and sensible ; see the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. 
Malan), p. 215, for this reference. See also Odes o[ Solomon, pp. 66 ff. 
and 69, notes i, 2. 

' The first editions add here, " and he saw himself naked," and not 
after the words, " and the cloud of glory departed from him." See 
Pal. Targ. Gen. loc. cit. A similar tradition is preserved in the Coptic 
Apocryph:!, ed. Budge, p. 250. 

* The MSS. end the quotation here, the first editions continue the 
verse. 

* Some of the old editions read : " Thy commandment" ; see also 
Ezek. xvi. 39. 

* " Naked," i.e. Adam was stripped of his dress of glory as a conse 
quence of his disobedience. 



THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE 99 

away from Thy ways,* as it is said, " The woman whom 
thou gavest to be with me,^ she gave me of the tree, and I 
did eat " {ibid. 12). The Holy One, blessed be He, called 3 
ujito Eve, and said to her : Was it not enough for thee that 
thou didst sin in thy own person ? But (also) that thou 
shouldst make Adam sin ? She spake before Him : Sovereign 
of the world ! The serpent enticed my mind to sin before 
Thee, as it is said, " The serpent beguiled me, and I did 
eat " {ibid. 13). He brought the three * of them and 
passed sentence of judgment upon them, consisting of 
nine curses and death. 

He cast down Sammael ' and his troop from their holy 
place in heaven,*" and cut off the feet of the serpent,' and 
decreed that it should cast its skin and suffer pain once in 
seven years in great pain, and cursed it || that it should 
drag itself with its belly (on the ground), and its food is 
turned in its belly into dust^ and the gall of asps,^ and 
death is in its mouth,*" and He put hatred between it and 
the children of the woman,** so that they should bruise its 

^ The first editions read : " Thy words." See B.H.M. iii. pp. 60 f. 

^ The MSS. end the quotation here. 

' The first editions add here : " He said." 

* See Pal. Targ. Gen. iii. 16 and cf. Gen. Rab. xx. 2, 3. 

^ On the identification of Sammael with the Devil see Wisdom ii. 
24, Pal. Targum on Gen. iii. 6 ; see also Rev. xii. 9 and xx. 2. 
Paul in 2 Cor. xi. 3 refers to the beguiling of Eve by the Serpent. 
On the speaking of the Serpent see Jubilees iii. 7 and Josephus, 
Ant. i. I. 4. According to Slavonic Enoch xxxi. 3, " The devil 
took thought, as if wishing to make another world, because things 
were subservient to Adam on earth. . . . He became Satan after he 
left the heavens." See T.B. Sabbath, 55a, for the Haggadic account 
of Adam and Eve and the Serpent. 

* " But the wicked Satan . . . I hurled him down from heaven, 
he it is who made the tree appear pleasant in your eyes," says 
the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. i.; cf. ibid. xlv. The 
Fall of Satan is mentioned in Luke x. 18, John xii. 31, and cf. 
Eph. ii. 2. 

' This Midrash was known to Josephus ; see Ant. loc. cit. The first 
editions add : " And He cursed it more than all living beasts and all 
cattle." Two curses are set forth here ; cf. T.B. Bechoroth, 8a, and see 
Gen. Rab. xx. 5, Tosephta Sotah iv. 17, 18. 

* Cf. Job XX. 14 ; T.B. Joma, 75a : " The serpent brought man back 
to dust, and therefore dust is its food." 

^ See Pal. Targum on Gen. iii. 14. "A deadly venom shall be in 
thy mouth, and thou shalt eat dust all the days of thy life." 

1" See Job XX. 16. 

^^ The New Testament refers to this incident in i John iii. 8, Col. ii. 
15, Heb. ii. 14 ff., Rom. xvi. 20, and see Revelation of Moses (in 
"Ante-Nicene Christian Library," xvi. p. 461). Ephraim, op. cit., refers 



100 RABBI ELIEZER 

head,^ and after all these (curses comes) death.^ He gave 
the woman nine curses and death : the afflictions arising 
from menstruation and the tokens of virginity ; ^ the 
affliction of conception in the womb ; and the affliction 
of child-birth ; and the affliction of bringing up children ; 
and her head is covered like a mourner,' and it is not 
shaved except on account of immorality, and her ear is 
pierced like (the cars of) perpetual slaves ; ^ and like a 
hand-maid she waits upon her husband ; and she is not 
believed in (a matter of) testimony ; ^ and after all these 
(curses comes) death. 

He extended pardon " to Adam (as to a part of the) 
nine curses and death. He curtailed his strength, and He 
shortened his stature ^ by reason of the impurity connected 
with issues and with pollution ; ^ as well as the impurity 
arising from sexual intercourse ; he was to sow wheat and 
to reap thistles,^" and his food was to be the grass of the earth, 
like that of the beast ; and (he was to earn) his bread in 

to the cutting off of the Serpent's feet ; see ■^upra, p. 99, note 7. The 
first editions read : " between it and the woman." 

' See T.J. Kiddushin iv. 11, p. 66c, and Sophrim xv. 10, for the 
rule, " Break the head of the best among serpents." 

- Cf. the words of Wisdom, loc. cit., " But through the devil's envy 
came death into the world " ; see also Slavonic Enoch xxxi. 3. 

3 See T.B. 'Erubin, loob, and Aboth de R. Nathan fa) i. p. 2b. 

^ For an example of this see Biichler, The Economic Condition of 
Judea, p. 53, and see T.B. Kiddushin, 72a. The New Testament also 
directs women to have their heads covered ; see i Cor. xi. 5 and cf. the 
Apostolic Constitutions, i. 8. In our MS. and in the Oxford MSS. as 
well as in some of the old editions of our book {e.g. Venice, 1544) 
after " mourner " the words " she is not shaved except on account of 
immorality," occur, but later editions have deleted the passage. This 
phrase is of great importance in view of Dr. Biichler's interesting 
and learned monograph on this theme. A special note at the end of 
the book will recapitulate the results of Dr. Biichler's investigations, 
as the date of P.R.E. may possibly be determined by the perio.l when 
the custom of cutting the hair of the immoral woman as a punishment 
obtained. 

* Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode, p. 39, refers to the inference 
suggested by the perforation of a woman's ears; see also Z.A.T.W., 
i89i,p. 183. 

* Because Adam listened to Eve, and was led astray by her ; see 
'Arukh, ed. Kohut, v. 394b. 

' Our MS. TLads Dicn (pardon). The Oxford MS. (d. 35) reads 
D'on (retribution), and Oxford MS. (O.A. 107) ha^^ in (his sentence). 
The printed texts omit this and read : " He drew Adam aside and 
decreed against him nine curses and death." 

* See Coptic Apocrypha, p. 250 : " his body diminished in size." 
» See T.B. Synhedrin, ibb. 

" See Gen. Rab. xx. 10, and Tanna de bd Elijahu Rab. xxxi. p. 164. 



THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE 101 

anxiety, and his food by the sweat (of his brow) ; and 
after all these (curses came) death.^ 

If Adam sinned, what was the sin of the earth, that it 
should be cursed ? Because it did not speak against the 
(evil) deed,2 therefore it was cursed ; for in the hour when 
the sons of man transgress the graver sins || God sends a 
plague ^ to the sons of man ; and in the hour when the sons 
of man transgress sins less vital, He smites the fruits of the 
earth,* because of (the sins of) the sons of man, as it is said 
" Cursed is the ground for thy sake " {ibid. 17). 

1 For a Christian interpretation of the judgment, see Revelation oL 
Moses, loc. cit. p. 460 f. 

" By protesting and warning Adam ; see Pal. Targum, Gen. iii. 17. 

3 See Aboth (v. end). T.B. Sabbath, 32a, and T.B. Joma, 83a. 
The Church Fathers have very elaborate expositions of the " Fall " 
and its consequences. Thus Irenaeus (adv. Hcbv. iii. 3) writes : " It 
was for this reason, too, that immediately after Adam, as the Scripture 
relates, He pronounced no curse against Adam personally, but against 
the ground, in reference to his works; as a certain person among the 
ancients has observed, ' God did indeed transfer the curse to the earth, 
that it might not remain in man.' But man receives as a punish- 
ment of his transgression the toilsome task of tilling the earth, and to 
eat bread in the sweat of his face, and to return to the dust whence he 
was taken. Similarly also did the woman (receive) toil, and labour, 
and groans, and the pangs of parturition, and a state of subjection, that 
is, that she should serve her husband ; so that they should neither perish 
altogether when cursed by God, nor, by remaining unreprimanded, 
should be led to despise God. But the curse in all its fulness fell upon 
the serpent which had beguiled them." For other references see 
Diestel, op. cit. (in Index), and Thalhofer, Bibliothek dev Kirchenvdter (in 
Index). 

* See Coptic Apocrypha, p. 243 : " the fruit of the earth is Uttle 
because of the sins of man." 



CHAPTER XV 

THE TWO WAYS [17 A. i.J 

Rabbi Eliezer said : I heard with my ear ^ the Lord of 
hosts speaking. What did He speak ? He said : " See, I 
have set before thee this day life and good, and death and 
evil " (Dent. xxx. 15). The Holy One, blessed be He, 
said : Behold, these two ways ^ have I given to Israel, one 
is good, the other is evil. The one which is good, is of 
life ; and the one which is evil, is of death.^ The good 
way has two byways, one of righteousness and the other 
of love, and Elijah,^ be he remembered for good, is placed 
exactly between these two ways.-^ When a man comes 
to enter (one of these ways), Elijah,*' be he remembered 
for good, cries aloud concerning him, saying, " Open ye 

1 See Isa. v. 9, and note the Targum thereon. R. EHezer ben 
Hyrkanos was held to be worthy of being endowed with the Holy Spirit ; 
see T.J. Sotah (end) and T.B. Synhedrin, iia; Jalkut, Job, § 919. 

* The theme of this chapter of our b^ok is the Jewish doctrine of 
the Two Ways, the ways of good and evil, or of Hfe and death. Adam 
did not keen the "way of life" (see supra, p. 85) ; he disobeyed God 
by taking of the fruit of the tree of "good and evil." The "Way of 
Life" in Paradise was guarded by the Cherubim, and the earthly way 
of " good and evil " is likewise in the charge of angels, good and evil. 
Slavonic Enoch xxx. 15 connects the " two ways " with Adam before 
his disobedience. On the " Two Ways " see Jewish Sources of the 
Sermon on the Mount, pp. 239 flf. See also Gen. Rab. xxi. 5. The 
Christian literature has also its doctrine of the Two Ways ; sec the 
Apostolic Constitutions, vii. i ; Epistle of Barnabas xviii.-xx. ; Hermas, 
Mand. vi. 2 ; Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, v. 7; and for "Heaven and 
Hell " see the Revelation of Peter (ed. Robinson and James, 1892, pp. 48 £f.) . 
See; also Test. XII Pal., Asher i. 3, with Charles' note in loc. Some of 
the printed texts read " ttvo words " instead of " two ways." The 
latter is, of course, the correct reading ; see Jalkut, Job, loo. cit. 

3 SeeT.B. Joma, 38b. ' " "■ 

* On Elijah in Jewish Uterature see supra, p. 2, note 7 ; J.E. v. 
122 ff . ; Schechter, Aspects of R.ibbinic Theology, p. 288. 

^ i.e. the ways leading to life and death. 

'See supra, p. 95; T.B. Kiddushin, 70a; Ruth Rab. v. 6. On 
Elijah's work see Seder Olam Rab. xvii. 



THE TWO WAYS 103 

the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth truth 
may enter in " (Isa. xxvi. 2). And there cometh Samuel 
the prophet, and he places himself between these two by- 
ways.i He says : On which of these (two byways) shall I 
go ? If I go on the way of righteousness, then (the path) 
of II love is better than the former ; if I go on the way of 
love, (the way) of righteousness is better : but I call heaven 
and earth to be my witnesses ^ that I will not give up either 
of them.^ 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : Samuel ! 
Thou hast placed thyself between these two good byways. 
By thy life! I will give to thee three good gifts. This 
teaches thee that everyone who doeth^ righteousness and 
sheweth the service of love, shall inherit three good gifts, 
and they are: life, righteousness, and glory, as it is said, 
" He that followeth after righteousness and love, findeth 
life, righteousness, and glory" (Prov. xxi. 21). It is only 
written here (in the text) : " He findeth life, righteousness, 
and glory." ^ 

(Leading) to the way of evil, there are four *' doors, and 
at each door seven angels ^ are standing — four without, 
and three within. The (angels) without are merciful, and 
those within are cruel. When a man comes to enter,^ the 
merciful angels go to meet him and say to him : What 
hast thou to do with the fire yonder? What hast thou 
to do with those glowing coals ? ^ Listen to us and 

1 Samuel, like Elijah, sought to reconcile God and man. On Samuel 
in Rabbinic literature see J.E. xi. 7. On the idea in our Midrash see 
I Sam. ii. 26 ; according to this text, Samuel grew in favour with God 
and man. The favour of God is the result of " righteousness," whilst 
the favour of man is due to " love " between man and his fellow. 

- This expression is verv common in the Tanna de be Elijahu. 

' The first editions add here : " but I will take them for myself." See 
Eccles. vii. 18. 

* The first editions read " who desireth and doeth," instead of 
" doeth." Luria suggests " pursueth." 

° This sentence is missing in the printed editions. 

* Cf . the three sins ai Israel mentioned by Amos ii. 6 and the four 
calls of Wisdom in Prov. i. 20 ff. 

' The first editions read : " seven watchers, angels, are sitting," i.e. 
guardian angels. 

* The first editions add : " the first door." 

» The first editions read : " Why wilt thou enter into the midst of 
this fire ? Why wilt thou enter among the uncircumcised and the 
glowing coals ? " Luria reads " flames " instead of " uncircumcised." 
The picture of Gehenna in our context may be suggested by the " swords 



104 RABBI ELIEZER 

repent.^ If he hearken to them and repent, behold 
it is well, and if not, he says to them : - Amongst them 
(yonder) let my life (be). || They say to him : Thou hast 
entered the first door ; do not enter the second door. 
When he comes to enter the second door, the merciful ^, 

angels go to meet him and say to him : What benefit is it 
to thee to be erased ^ from the Torah of thy God ? ' Would 
it not be better to be inscribed in the Torah of thy God ? 
Hearken unto us and repent. If he listen to them and 
repent, it is well ; and if not, he says to them : '' With them 
yonder let my life (be). They say to him : Behold thou 
hast entered the second door, do not enter the third door. 
When he is about to enter the third door the merciful angels 
go to meet him and say to him : " What benefit is to thee 
that they {i.e. the good angels) should flee from thee and 
call tliee " Unclean " ? Would it not be better that they 
should call thee " Pure One " and not " Unclean " ? 
Hearken to us and repent. If he hearken unto them, 
behold, it is well ; and if not, he says unto them : With them 
(yonder) let my life (be). They say to him : Behold thou 
hast entered the third door ; do not enter the fourth door ! 
When he is about to enter the fourth door the merciful 
angels go to meet him and say to him : Behold, thou hast 
entered these doors, and thou hast not hearkened nor 
returned.' Thus far the Holy One, blessed be He, receives 

of flaming fire " in the hands of the Cherubim guarding Paradise. 
The " flaming fire " is outside Paradise. For the " everlasting fire " 
m the New Testament see Matt. xxv. 41 ; the old editions {e.g. Amster- 
dam) read D'li, " mountains," instead of " wicked." 

1 Or " return " ; possibly the word implies " repent and return." 
^ The first editions read here : " If he hearken to them it is well; 
and if not, verily they say to them : Amongst them (yonder) there is no 
life." Our MS. has undoubtedly the better reading. 
^ The first editions read : " to bo removed." 

* The first editions omit the next sentence and read instead : " that 
they (i.e. the good angels) should call thee ' Unclean,' and that they 
should flee from thee." 

* See note z iihovr. 

* The first editions read, instead of our text, the following : "Why 
wilt thou be erased from the book of life ? * Is it not better for thee 
to be inscribed (therein) rather than to be erased (therefrom) ? Hearken 
unto us, and repent. If he listen to them, it is well ; and if not, woe to 
him and to his head ! " See Wisdom i. 13. 

' The translation might also be, " repented." See Jalljut, Job, loc. cit. 

» On the " Book of Life " see T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, i6b, and cf. 
Jeremias, Babyl. im N.T. ; see also Isa. xxx. 8. 



THE TWO WAYS 105 

II the penitent ; thus far the Holy One, blessed be He, pardons ^ 
and forgives,^ and every day He says : Return, ye children 
of man, as it is said : ^ " Thou turnest man to contrition " ^ 
(Ps. xc, 3). 

The cruel angels ^ say : Since he would not hearken 
to the first (angels), let us cause his spirit to depart, as it is 
said, " Let his spirit go forth, let him return to his earth " 
(ibid, cxlvi. 4). And concerning them ^ (the Scripture) says : ^ 
" Upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them 
that hate me " (Ex. xx. 5) ; and another verse says : " Lo, 
all these things doth God work, twice, yea thrice, with a 
man " (Job xxxiii. 29). And thus He calls to Eliezer.^ 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said : Eliezer ! Thou 
hast made thyself like a threefold cord,^ as it is said, " And 
a threefold cord is not quickly broken " (Eccles. iv. 12). I 
also will apply to thee this verse : " Thou shalt be perfect 
with the Lord thy God " (Deut. xviii. 13). Do not read thus, 
but : " Thou shalt be perfect before'^^ the Lord thy God." 

' The first editions add " sins." 

2 See T.B. Joma, 86b, and T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, i6a. 

' The first editions read, instead of our quotation, the following : 
" ' Return, ye backsliding children ' (Jer. iii. 14). If man hearken unto 
them, it is well ; and if not, woe to him and to his destiny ! " 1 

* Or " destruction. ' See T.B. Chagigah, i6a, for an instance of re- 
pentance even after death; see also Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. xci. 18, and 
infra, p. 341. 

^ See Prov. xvii. 11 and cf. Shocher Tob, Ps. i. 22, p. lib, and 
cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, cv., on the " evil angel taking 
our soul." See also Hippolytus (Against Plato, ed Lagarde, p. 69). 

® The unrepentant. 

^ The printed texts omit the quotation from Ex. xx. 5 and conclude 
the quotation from Job xxxiii. 29 with the word " work," adding " etc." 

* Luria thinks that probably the text originally ended with a 
reference to Samuel. The first editions agree with our MS. and read 
" to Eliezer," indicating Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanos, whose name 
also occurs at the beginning of the chapter. 

* The printed texts omit the quotation from Eccles. iv. 12. Some of 
the texts read, " Hast thou made thyself ? " etc. The threefold cord is 
Torah, Divine Worship, and Loving Service. R. Ehezer had acquired 
Torah, and devoted his life to the service of God ; and by his action to 
his brothers he rendered loving service to them. The reference to 
Samuel would be just as likely. 

*" In the MS. the texts " with the Lord " are identical. This is clearly 
due to an error of a copyist. See Jalljut, Deut. § 919, and cf. Siphre, 
Deut. § 173. I have followed the reading of the Pesiljta ?utarta, 
p. 30b. 

^ Sjd, planet, luck or destiny. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE SERVICE OF LOVING-KINDNESS [17b. ii.] 

The world rests upon three things : upon the Torah, upon 
Divine Worship, and upon the service of loving-kindness.^ 
"■ Upon the Torah," whence do we know (this) ? Because 
it is written, " If my covenant - of day and night stand 
not " (Jer. xxxiii. 25) ; and (another text) says, " This 
book of the Torah shall not depart out of thy mouth, ^ 
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night " (Josh. i. 8). 
Whence do we know (that the world rests) upon the service 
of loving-kindness ? Because it is said, " For I desired 
love, II and not sacrifice " (Hos. vi. 6). Whence do wc know 
(that the world rests) upon Divine Worship ? Because 
it is written, "And the prayer of the upright is his delight " ^ 
(Prov. XV. 8).5 

* See Aboth i. 2; Pesikta Rabbathi, v. p. 15b; and cf. supra, 
p. 89, and infya, p. 122. 

^ God's covenant is the Torah ; see T.B. Sabbath, 33a ; cf. T.B. 
Pesachim, 54a; and T.B. Nedarim, 32a. The argument by analogy 
afforded by comparing similar words in two different verses of Scripture 
is known as " Gezerah Shavah," and is employed here. For examples 
see Levy, N.H.W. i. 320 f . ; and cf . Bacher's Terminologie, i. ■;.«. pp. 1 3 ff . 

^ The rest of the verse is omitted by our MS. ; it occurs in the first 
editions. The MS. adds the paragraph following dealing with the service 
of loving-kindness. 

■• Luria thinks that the text should read : " (The world rests) upon 
Divine Worship. What is this (Worship)? Prayer." The preceding part 
of the verse quoted reads : ' ' The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination 
to the Lord, and the prayer of the upright is his delight" (Prov. xv. 8). 
In Mai. ii. 13 "delight" is used instead of "offering." On this theme see 
Aboth de R. Nathan {a) iv. p. gb ; T.J. Megillah iii. 7. 74b ; Num. Rab. 
xii. 12. The ethical lesson here is noteworthy : knowledge of God's Law 
must find expression, on the one hand, in Divine Worship, and, on the 
other, in the service of loving-kindness to humanity. Judaism claims 
to be the highest expression of religious truth, and stands or falls by 
the ethical teaching it enunciates. 

* The first editions add : " What is the Divine Worship ? Prayer, 
for thus we find in Daniel, to whom Darius said : ' Thy God whom 

106 



SERVICE OF LOVING-KINDNESS 107 

Whence do we learn of the service of loving-kindness for 
bridegrooms ? We learn (this) from the Holy One, blessed 
be He ; for He Himself bestowed loving-kindness upon 
Adam and his help-mate. The Holy One, blessed be He, 
said to the ministering angels : Come ye and let us show 
loving-kindness to Adam and his help-mate. The Holy 
One, blessed be He, descended with the ministering angels 
to show loving-kindness to Adam and his help-mate.^ The 
Holy One, blessed be He, said : More beloved unto Me is the 
service of loving-kindness than sacrifices and burnt-offer- 
ing which Israel, in the future, will bring on the altar before 
Me, as it is said, " For I desired love, and not sacrifice " 
(Hos. vi. 6).2 

Rabbi Jose said : From whom do we learn of the seven 
days of banquet ? ^ From our father Jacob.* For when 
our father Jacob married Leah, he made a banquet with 
rejoicing for seven days, as it is said, " Fulfil the week ^ 
of this one" (Gen. xxix. 27).^ 

thou servest continually, he will deliver thee ' (Dan. vi. i6). Was 
there any Divine Worship in Babylon ? ^ But this (refers to) Prayer." 

1 In the Garden of Eden ; see supra, pp. S8 If. 

^ See supra, pp. 76, 84, 89, for the idea that the world rests on love. 
Here the stress is on " I desire!," since God's desire or will is the cause 
of the world's existence. The bridegroom is especially mentioned, 
because the study of the Torah is to be set aside in order to render 
the service of loving-kindness to the bride and bridegroom. The 
Jewish teachers did not encourage celibacy ; neither was the cult of 
virginitrs'- considered a desirable element in religion, as was the case 
in the Christian Church. It is possible that the emphasis laid on the 
Divine participation in Adam's nuptials was intended to counteract 
the attitude of the Church towards marriage ; see i Cor. vii. 8 ; Matt. 
xix. 10, 12. This section in our book should be compared with the latter 
part of Chapter XII. ; see also Pesikta de R. Kahana, p. 172b (end). 

^ At a wedding. The marriage feast is mentioned in the parables 
of the N.T. ; see Matt. xxii. 2 ff . 

* See Nachmanides on Gen. xxix. 27 ; and cf. T.J. Kethuboth i. i, 
p. 25a, and Jalkut, Judges, § 70. 

* See Pal. Targum, in loc. 

* The first editions add : " And all the men of the place were gathered 
together to render loving service to Jacob, as it is said : ' And Laban 
gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast ' (Gen. 
xxix. 22). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them : Ye have 
shown loving-kindness to Jacob, My servant. I will deal kindly and give 
you your reward in this world, ^ because there is no reward for evil- 
doers in the world to come, as it is said, ' Because by him the Lord 

* In Babj'lon and elsewhere outside Palestine the sacrificial cult 
was replaced by prayer; see Siphre, Deut. § 41, p. Soa ; and cf. Esther 
Rab. viii. 7. 

* See T.B. Kiddushin, 40b, and T.B. 'Erubin, 22a. 



108 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi Simeon ^ said : Our father Abraham wrote (in 
his will and bequeathed) all that he had as an inheritance ^ 
to Isaac, as it is said, " And Abraham gave all that he had 
unto Isaac " {ibid. xxv. 5). He took the document and 
gave it into the hands of Eliczer, his servant, (who) said, 
Since the document is in my hand all his money is in my 
hand,' so that he might go and be recommended ' (thereby) 
in his ^ father's house and with his family. 

From Kirjath || Arba unto Haran was a journey of seven- 
teen days ; and in three hours ^ the servant came to Haran. 
He was astonished in his mind ^ and he said : This day I 
went forth, and this day I arrived, as it is said, " And I 
came this day unto the fountain " {ibid. xxiv. 42). 

Rabbi Abbahu said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
wished to show loving-kindness to Isaac, and he sent an 
angel *^ before Eliczer ; and the way was shortened for 
him, so that the servant came to Haran in three hours. 

And everything ^ is revealed before the Holy One, blessed 
be He. A daughter of Icings,^*' who in all her life had never 
gone forth to draw water, went out to draw water in that 
hour. And the girl, who did not know who the man ^^ was, 
accepted (the proposal) to be married to Isaac. Why ? 

had given victory unto Syria' (2 Kings v. i), and he* received his 
reward." * 

* The first editions read : " Shemajah." 

-See infra, p. 215; and cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, 130a. Isaac was 
destined to be Abraham's heir according to God's promise; see Gen. 
XV. 4. The first editions omit the quotation, Gen. xxv. 5. 

* The words of Ehezer are not in the first editions. 

* By the will of Abraham everything in his possession passed to 
Isaac. This circumstance would be appreciated by the family of 
Rebecca. Sec Gen. Rab. lix. 10. 

' Abraham's. 

* The " shortening of the way " occurs also in the Gospel of Pseudo- 
Matthew xxii. (A.N.C.L. xvi. p. 38), and see A.R.W. xvi. p. 169. 

' Lit. " heart." 

* See Gen. xxiv. 7, and cf. Gen. Rab. loc. cit 

* Cf. Luria's reading based on Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. Ixii. 5. 

10 SeeMidrashHaggadol, Gen. c. 367. For Bethuel as king see Jalkut, 
Gen. § 109, and Sopherim xxi. (cd. MuUer) p. 304, n. 46. 

11 The reading in the Jalkut, loc. cit.. is : " And the girl knew not man." 
This reading is probably due to Gen. xxiv. 16. Clement of Alexandria 
gives a parallel Haggadic interpretation in his Strom, iv. 25. 

* Laban. 

* By the victory of Aram, the service of loving-kindness rendered 
to Jacob by Laban was requited to the descendants of Laban the 
Aramean. See infra, p. 112. 



SERVICE OF LOVING-KINDNESS 109 

Because she had been destined ^ for him from his mother's 
womb,2 as it is said, " In the balances they will go up, they 
are together lighter than vanity " ^ (Ps. Ixii. 9). 

Laban and Bethuel answered : Since (this) word has 
come forth from the mouth of the Almighty, we cannot 
prevent it, as it is said, " Then Laban and Bethuel answered 
and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord : ^ we cannot 
speak unto thee bad or good " (Gen. xxiv. 50). " Behold; 
Rebecca is before thee ; take her and go " (ibid. 51). 

The servant arose early in the morning and saw the angel 
standing and waiting for him in the street. He said to 
them : ^ "Do not hinder me,^ for the Lord hath prospered 
my way " {ibid. 56). For behold, the man who came with 
me yesterday, he has prospered my way ; behold, he is stand- 
ing II and waiting for me in the street,'' as it is said, " And 
he said to them. Do not hinder me, for the Lord hath pros- 
pered my way." They ate and drank at Rebecca's (bridal) 
banquet.*^ Like a precentor, who is standing and blessing 
the bride in her bridal canopy,^ so they stood and blessed 
Rebecca their sister (wedded) to Isaac, as it is said, " And 
they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, Our sister ..." 
{ibid. 60).i» 

At six hours of the day ^^ the servant went forth from 
Haran, and he took Rebecca and Deborah her nurse and 
made them ride upon the camels. So that the servant 
should not be alone with the maiden (Rebecca) by night, 

1 See Targum On^elos to Gen. xxiv. 14. 

2 i.e. from his birth. The first editions read : " from her mother's 
womb." 

3 Cf. Lev. Rab. xxix. 8, Gen. Rab. Ux. 9, T.J. Bezah v. 2, 63a. 

* The MS., the Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 368, and the first editions 
end the quotation here, and add: " etc." 

° Eliezer is speaking to Laban and his friends. 

« The MS. ends the quotation here ; the first editions continue the 
verse, and then the printed texts read : " Behold he is in the street, wait- 
ing for me. Thev ate and drank at Rebecca's banquet, as it is said." 

' The Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 370, refers here to the " angel " who 
accompanied Ehezer. 

« The first editions add parts of verses 54 and 56 of Gen. xxiv. 

» See Midrash Haggadol, Gen. loc. cit. ; and cf. supra, pp. Sgf., and 
see Kallahi., and Tosaphoth, Kethuboth, 7b, s.v. nDNJB'. 

10 This was a marriage by proxy. The Rabbis differ as to whether 
the nuptial benedictions caii be said only in the presence of the bride 
and bridegroom; see R. Nissim on T.B. Sukkah, 25b, and RITBA on 
Kethuboth, 8a. 

11 i.e. at noon, twelve o'clock. See Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 371, 
for a parallel text. 



110 RABBI ELIEZER 

the earth was contracted ^ before him, and in three hours the 
servant came to Hebron at the time of the prayer of 
the afternoon-evening.- And Isaac had gone forth to say 
the afternoon-evening prayer, as it is said, "And Isaac went 
forth to meditate in the field towards even" [ibid. 63). ^ 

Rabbi Simeon ' said : Abraham spake to Isaac his son 
(saying), This servant^ is suspected of all the transgressions 
of the Torah, and deceit is in this servant,^ as it is said, 
" He is a Canaanite," the balances of deceit are in his hand ; 
he loveth to defraud " (Hos. xii. 7). See, lest he has defiled 
her,^ therefore bring the girl into the tent and examine her 
tactually;^ 1| and if she be undefiled, behold, she is destined 

1 The Pal. Targum on Gen. xxiv. 6i states: "And as the way was 
shortened for him in his journey to Paddan-Aram, so was it shortened 
for him on his return, so that in one day he went and in one day he 
returned." 

-i.e. at 3 p.m. The MS. reads: " the afternoon of the evening." 
The first editions read " afternoon." Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit., has 
" evening." The word " Minchah " is used to designate the " afternoon 
prayer " or the " afternoon offering " ; see Jastrow, T.D. 779a. 

^ The first editions add : " Meditation (Sichah) is nought else save 
prayer,* as it is said, ' A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed 
and poureth out his complaint (Siach) before the Lord' " (Ps. cii. i). 
See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 84. Gen. Rab. Ixviii. 9 quotes 
here Ps. cxlii. 2, instead of Ps . cii. i as above. 

* The first editions read : " Ishmael." 

* The Prague edition reads : " O my son ! this servant," etc. 

' The first editions read : " This servant is suspected of transgres- 
sions, and deceit is in his hand." n-^^zy (transgression) often means 
" immorality." 

'Servants or slaves were called "Canaanites" in consequence of 
Noah's curse upon his son Ham, whose son was Canaan ; cf. T.B. Baba 
Bathra, 92b. 

* "Zinor," euphem. for vagina; see 2 Sam. v. 8. 

* For a parallel see the legends of the Virgin Mary and Salome in 
" Ante-Nicene Christian Library," xvi. p. 12 (The Protevangelium of 
James) ; and cf . same story in same volume, p. 32, The Gospel of Pseudo- 
Matthew, and see Hennecke, Apokryphen d. N.T., p. 61 ; see also 
Tertullian, " Oa the Veiling of Virgins," xi. R. Simeon's infer- 
ence is based on the view that obtained in ancient times that slaves 
could be reasonably suspected of loose conduct ; see T.B. Berakhoth, 
45b ; T.B. Pesachim, 91a and 113b. Clement of Alexandria, to quote 
but one of the Church Fathers, held a similar opinion of the slaves 
of his day; sec The Instructor, iii. 4. The Midrash in our text also 
occurs in Jalkut on Gen., § 109, Midrash Abkhir, and in the Midrash 
Agadah, Gen. p. 60. Sec alsoRokcach, pp. 54a, b (ist ed.). According to 
the Book of Jashar (xxiv. 40) Rebecca was ten years old when wedded to 

* Jerome, in loc. knew this Haggadic interpretation, which also 
occurs in Onkelos and Pal. Targum, in loc. See Gen. Rab. Ix. 1 .j ; 
T.B. Berakhoth, 26b ; cf . Rahmer, Die Hebrdischen Traditionen in den 
Werken des Hieronymus (1861), p. 38. 



SERVICE OF LOVING-KINDNESS 111 

for thee from her mother's womb.^ He brought her into the 
tent and examined her tactually, and he showed the result 
to Abraham his father, and afterwards he took her to be his 
wife, as it is said, "And Isaac brought her into the tent of 
Sarah his mother . . . And Isaac was comforted after his 
mother's death " (Gen. xxiv. 67) ; ^ for the deeds of Rebecca 
were Hke unto those of Sarah. ^ Hence the Israehtes have 
the custom of producing the tokens of the damsel's virginity,"* 
as it is said, " Then shall the father of the damsel, and her 
mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's 
virginity " (Dent. xxii. 15).^ 

The steward of Abraham's household® was his servant 
Eliezer, and whence was his servant ? When (Abraham) 
went forth from Ur of the Chaldees all the magnates of 
the kingdom ' came to give him gifts ; and Nimrod ^ took 
his first-born (son) ^ Eliezer and gave him to (Abraham) as 
a perpetual slave. 

When (Eliezer had thus) dealt kindly with Isaac, he set 
him free, and the Holy One, blessed be He, gave him his 
reward in this world, so that there should not be a reward 

Isaac. Another opinion is to be found in Sopherim xxi. g, and in Seder 
'01am Rab. i. p. 4a. 

1 The first editions read : " She is thine by the word of the 
Almighty." See Midrash Haggadol, c. 373. 

2 The last clause of the quotation is not in the first editions. 

^ The first editions add : " she was found to be as perfect as Sarah 
his mother. 1 ' The king's daughter within is all glorious ' (Ps. 
xlv. 13) ; ' And Isaac was comforted after his mother's death ' " (Gen. 
xxiv. 67). 

* The first editions read : " custom of tactual examination so that 
they should not be in doubt, as it is said, ' Then shall the father of 
the damsel, and her mother, take' " (Deut. xxii. 15). On the custom see 
Miiller's Chiluf Minhagim, p. 37, where it is pointed out that it is a 
Palestinian custom. This might point to a Palestinian as the author 
of P.R.E., or to Palestine as its home. 

^ See the rest of the verse. 

* Lit. " The steward of his house (was) the servant of Abraham, for 
Eliezer was his servant." Our translation agrees with the text of the 
first two editions. 

' The first editions read : " All the magnates of the generation arose 
and gave him gifts." 

* On Nimrod see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 44 f. and 51 ; 
J.E. ix. 309; Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, i. pp. 177 ; cf. Augustine, 
de Civ. Dei, xvi. 11,3. See also Jerahmeel, s.v. in Index, for references. 
The first editions add : " arose and wrote a document transferring his 
servant Eliezer to Abraham." 

* The rest of the sentence is wanting in the first editions. 

^ This is like the reading in the Targumim, Gen, in loc. 



112 RABBI ELIEZER 

for the wicked in the world to come ; ^ and He raised him to 
kingship, and he is Og. king of Bashan.- 

Rabbi Jose ^ said : From whom do we learn (that there 
should be) seven days of (the wedding) banquet ? ' From our 
father Jacob, who || made a banquet with rejoicing for seven 
days, and he took Leah (as his ^vife). Again he kept another 
seven days of banquet and rejoicing, and took Rachel (as his 
wife), as it is said, " And Laban gathered together all the men 
of the place, and made a feast " (Gen. xxix. 22). The Holy 
One, blessed be He, said to them : Ye have shown loving- 
kindness to Jacob, My servant. I will give a reward to your 
children, so that there be no reward for the mcked in the world 
to come : " Because by him the Lord had given victory unto 
Syria" (2 Kings v. 1). From whom do we learn (that there 
should be) seven days of banquet ? From Samson the Nazirite 
of God, for when he went down to the land of the Philistines, 
he took a wife and kept seven days of banquet and re- 
joicing, as it is said, " And it came to pass, when they saw 
him,'' that they brought thirty companions to be with 
him " (Judg. xiv. 11). What were they doing with him ? 
They were eating and drinking and rejoicing,^ as it is said, 
" And Samson said unto them, Let me now put forth a 
riddle unto you" {ihid. 12); and another text says, "They 
could not declare the riddle in three days " {ibid. 14)." 

The bridegroom is like a king. Just as a king is praised 
by everybody,^ so is the bridegroom praised by everybody 
(during) the seven days of the feast. Just as a king is 

' Eliezer, however, inherited the future world according to the 
tradition of some Rabbis ; see Derekh Erez Zutta, i. (end), and 
Midrash Agadah, Gen. xxiv. p. 6o. 

2 See J .E. V. ii2, Pal. Targum on Gen. xiv. 13, infra, p. 167 ; and 
cf. Jalkut on Num. § 765, Gen. Rab. Ix. 2, Deut. Rab.'i. 25, T.B. 
Baba Bathra, 58a, T.B. Joma, 28b, and Sopherim xxiv. 9. 

•■' The first editions read: " Rabbi " ; i.e. Jehudah i (c. 200 c.E.) ; 
see, however, supra in this chapter, p. toy, for a similar text. The 
whole of this section till " Syria i2 Kings v. 11 " is wanting in the first 
two editions. See supra, p. 107, note 6. 

* The custom is clearly indicated in the text Judg. xiv. 10 and 12 ; 
cf. Matt. ix. 15, and suprj , p. 107. 

* The first editions end the quotation here. 

" The first editions read differently : " What is the meaning of 
(' when they saw) him ' ? They were eating and drinking with him, as 
it is said," etc. 

' See Jalkut, in lor.., and Menorath Ha-Maor, i; 173. 

* See T.B. Kethuboth, 17a ; and cf. Singer, p. 299 : " The jubilant 
voice of bridegrooms from their canopies," and Jcr. xxxiii. 11. 



SERVICE OF LOVING-KINDNESS 113 

dressed in garments of glory,i so the bridegroom is dressed 
in garments of glory.^ Just as a king is rejoicing, with feasts 
in his presence, all his days, so 1| the bridegroom is rejoicing 
and has feasts before him all the seven days of the banquet. 
Just as the king does not go into the market-place alone, 
likewise the bridegroom does not go into the market-place 
alone.3 Just as the face of a king is shining like the light 
of a sun,^ so the face of the bridegroom is shining like the 
light of a sun, as it is said, " And he ^ is as a bridegroom 
coming out of his chamber,^ and rejoicing to run his course " 
(Ps. xix. 5). 

1 Cf. Isa. Ixi. lo. 

^ The first editions add : " all the seven days of the banquet." 

* See Rashi on T.B. Menachoth, 98a, catchword p"i. The mourners 
likewise are not permitted to go out alone. The order of the narrative 
here is different in the printed texts. 

* Ci. Prov. xvi. 15. 

* i.e. the sun. 

* The MS. ends the quotation here ; the first editions add " etc." 



8 



CHAPTER XVII 

LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS [19a. ii.] 

Concerning the one who tenders the service of loving- 
kindness to mourners.^ Whence do we learn of the service 
of loving-kindness to mourners ? ^ From the Omni- 
present, who alone showed loving-kindness to Moses, His 
servant, and buried him ^ with His own hand. If 
this story had not been written (in the Torah) it 
would be impossible to say it, as it is said, " And he 
buried him in the valley in the land of Moab " (Deut. 
xxxiv. 6).' 

Rabban Gamaliel,'' the son of R. Jehudah, said : Not to 
Moses alone did He show loving-lcindness, but also to 
Aaron. For when they "^ went up Mount Hor all the tribes 
of Israel were contending and saying, Moses and Eleazar 
have left Aaron on Mount Hor and have gone down (by 
themselves).' Thej^ did not believe that he was dead. 
To show loving-kindness to him, what did the Holy 
One, blessed be He, do ? He took Aaron's coffin and 
brought it above the camp of Israel, and all Israel saw 

* This sentence is missing in the printed editions. 

- On mourning customs see Bender's article in J.QR. vi. pp. jiy fif. 
and 664 tt., also article in J.E. ix. 101 If. 

3 On the death of Moses see Ribbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 
270-272. The service of loving-kindness to mourners is not proved 
from the burial of Moses. See T.B. Sotah, 14a, where the custom is 
inferred from the case of Abraham ; cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 46a. 

* See T.B. Sotah, 13b, and Siphre. Deut. § ■(57. 

* On R. Gamaliel see J .E. v. 560 It. On the theme in our text see 
Jalkut, Num. § 787, and cf. Num. Rab. xix. 20. 

* Moses, Aaron, and Eleazar. The Gaster MS. 9 begins with the 
words " were contending," and continues to the end of the book as in 
the printed editions. The text, apari from the inserted and older MS. 
section, follows the Venice edition very closely. 

' For their own advantage and glory ; see Rabbinic Philosophy and 
Ethics on the death of Aaron, pp. 235-238. 



LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS 115 

Aaron's coffin flying and moving in the air.i They then 
believed that he was dead, and they showed loving-kindness 
to him, as it is said : || " And all the congregation saw that 
Aaron was dead " (Num. xx. 29). Only the men ~ showed 
loving-kindness to Moses, as it is said, " And the sons of 
Israel wept for Moses " (Deut. xxxiv. 8). The men and 
the women and the children ^ showed loving-kindness to 
Aaron. 

Why (was this) ? Because he loved peace and pursued 
peace,^ and passed daily through the entire camp of Israel 
and promoted peace between a man and his wife, and 
between a man and his neighbour ; therefore all Israel 
showed loving-kindness to him, as it is said, " And when 
all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead,' they wept 
for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel " (Num. 
XX. 29).^ 

Rabbi Jose said : From whom do we learn of the seven 
days of mourning ? " From Jacob, our father, for thus 
did his son Joseph unto him,^ as it is said, " And he made 
a mourning for his father seven days " (Gen. 1. 10).^ 

1 See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 228 ; and for the loving- 
kindness see ibid. p. 240. A similar legend as to Mohammed's cof&n 
occurs in Arabian literature. 

- Not " all the congregation," as at the death of Aaron. 

' The first editions omit " and the children." 

* See Aboth de R. Nathan (a) xii. pp. 24b ff. 

" The first editions insert the quotation, "they wept for Aaron," 
etc., before the paragraph beginning. " Why (was this) ? " The MS. 
as well as the first editions do not quote the first part of the verse 
(Num. XX. 29). 

* The first editions add the following : " This verse 1 is not in its right 
place, for at ' Moserah there Aaron died, and there he was buried ' 
(Deut. X. 6). And the text points to this (place) as though he died 
there and was buried there." ^ 

^ See Gen. Rab. c. 7, andT.B. MdedKatan, 20a; Tanchuma Vajechi. 
§ xvii. Cf. T.J. Sotah i. 10, 17c ; Jalkut i. § 161. 

* The first editions read : "for Joseph kept for him seven days of 
mourning." 

* The first editions add the following : " And all the magnates of 
the kingdom ^ went up with him, as it is said : ' And there went up 
with him both chariots and horsemen' (Gen. I. 9).* The Holy One, 

^ The weeping was at Moserah ; see Seder 'Olam Rab. ix., T.J. Joma 
i. I, p. 38b, T.J. Sotah i. 10, p. 17c, and Pal. Targumon Deut. x. 6, and cf. 
Rashi on Num. xxvi. 13. 

* See Num. xxxiii. 38. 

3 The Amsterdam edition reads : " the kingdoms." 

* The rest of the verse should be considered, " and it was a very 
great company " (Gen. 1. 9). 



116 RABBI ELIEZER 

Whence do we learn (the duty of) showing loving- 
kindness to mourners ? From Jezebel, the daughter of 
Ethbaal.^ The palace of Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, 
was near the market-place.- When any corpse was carried 
through the market-place, she would go forth from her 
palace, and she clapped ^ with the palms of her hands and 
praised with her mouth, and she followed the corpse ^ ten 
steps. Concerning her, Elijah, be he remembered for good,^ 
prophesied (and said) : " In the portion of Jezreel shall the 
dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel " (2 Kings ix. 36). But over 
the limbs which were (employed in) showing loving-kind- 
ness, the dogs had no power, as it is said, " And they went || to 
bury her : but they found no more of her than the skull, 
and the feet, and the palms of her hands " {ibid. So).*^ 

blessed be He, said to them : Ye have shown loving-kindness to Jacob, 
My servant,' and I will also give you and your children a good reward 
in this world. When the Egyptians died in the (Reed) Sea, they were 
not drowned - in the sea, but they were worthy to be buried,^ as it is 
said : ' Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed 
them ' " (Ex. xv. 12).* 

1 See I Kings xvi. 31. 

2 Or " street." The basis of this Haggadah is to be sought in 
2 Kings ix. 35. The palace was near the city gate which is generally 
near the market-place or the " High Street." The first editions add 
here : " When any bridegroom happened to pass (her palace) she would 
go forth from her palace, and she clapped her hands and praised with 
her mouth, and she would go ten steps." 

' The first editions read : " And she made a noise by rubbing her 
hands, and she bewailed with her mouth." The reading in our MS. 
seems to be drawn from the account describing Jezebel's conduct 
when she saw bridegrooms. 

* The usual distance was four cubits. See Tur, Joreh Diah, § 361 ; 
Maimonides, Hilkhoth Abel, xiv. ; and see also T.B. Sotah, 35b and 
46b. 

* See supra, p. 2. note 8. 

* The quotation in the MS. is abbreviated thus : " And they went 
to bury her, but they found no more of her than the palms," etc. 
See Rashi and Kimchi on 2 Kings ix. 36. On the theme of our text 
see Jalkut, 2 Kings ix. (;; 232) ; Menorath Ha-Maor, § 216 ; Kad Ha- 
Kemacli, s.v. hix. Tur, Eben Ha- Ezer, 65, quotes the Midrash, as though 
the text were " bridegroom and bride," and not merely " bridegroom." 

1 See infra, p. 309. 

2 See T.B. Pesachim, 117a, and cf. infra, p. 332. 

' The bodies of drowned men are liable to be thrown ashore ; they 
would lie exposed and remain unburied. God, however, had mercy 
on the doomed Egyptians and bade the sea cast up the drowned, 
whereupon the earth was constrained to receive the dead, and thus 
they were buried. The idea containid in this Midrash is the belief of 
the Jew in the dignity of man, created in the image of God. 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 169, and cf. infra, pp. 

334 f- 



LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS 117 

Whence do we learn (the duty of) showing loving- 
kindness to mourners ? From the men of Jabesh-Gilead. 
For when Saul and his sons were slain, the men of Jabesh 
Gilead said : Are we not bound to show loving-kindness 
to the man who delivered us from the disgrace of the sons 
of Ammon ? ^ All their mighty men arose and went all 
night to the walls of Beth-Shan,^ and they took the body 
of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the walls of Beth- 
Shan, as it is said, " All the valiant men arose, and took 
away the body of Saul " (1 Chron. x. 12). 

The mourners are comforted with bread and wine,^ as 
it is said, " Give strong drink unto him that is ready to 
perish, and wine unto the bitter in soul " (Prov. xxxi. 6).* 

The men of Jabesh-Gilead showed (loving-kindness ^) to 
Saul and his sons.^ (God said,) I will also give you and your 
sons your reward in the future ; for when the Holy One, blessed 
be He, in the future will gather Israel from the four corners 
of the world, the first whom He will gather, will be the 
half-tribe of Manasseh,' as it is said, " Gilead is mine, and 

* Cf. I Sam. xi. and see Pseudo-Rashi on i Chron. x. 12. Gilead 
was nigh to Benjamin, Saul's tribe ; see Num. Rab. xiv. i. 

2 i.e. they came to Beth- Shan at night. Beth- Shan is three 
hours' journey from Jabesh-Gilead. The first editions omit the next 
clause, and continue : " as it is said." 

3 See Semachoth xii. The subject has been dealt with by Perles 
in his Leichenfeierlichkeiten im Nachbiblischen Judentum. See J.E. 
V. 529 f . and ibid. ix. loi f. 

* The first editions omit the first half of the verse. See T.B, 'Erubin, 
65a: "wine was only created in order to comfort the mourners." 
" Bread " is mentioned in Jer. xvi. 7, Ezek. xxiv. 17, 22. and Hos. 
ix. 4, in connection with mourning. 

^ The MS. omits " loving-kindness." It occurs in the first editions. 
Saul had rescued the men of Jabesh-Gilead from the attack of the 
children of Ammon (see also Josh. ii. 12 for the term " dealing kindly "). 
The context refers to 2 Sam. ii. 5. Loving-kindness is that extra 
service of love which is more than one is in duty bound to do to one's 
fellow. The latter sums up one's obligation to any and every human 
being, namely, to deal justly and truly with all men, and not to hurt 
anyone. Loving service goes beyond this. See Jewish Sources of 
the Sermon on the Mount, pp. 97, 104 f. 

« The first editions and Jalknt Makhiri, Pss., p. r54b. add: "by 
fasting, weeping, and lamentation, * as it is said : ' And they fasted * 
seven days ' (i Sam. xxxi. 13). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to 
them : In the future." 

' In the land of Gilead ; see Siphre, Deut. § 355. 

1 The mourning consisted of the three phases enumerated. See 
2 Sam. i. II, 12 and Esth. iv. 1-3. 

* Fasting was not the usual custom. The rule to fast is limited now 
to the anniversary of the day of death of one's father or mother, 



118 RABBI ELIEZER 

Manasseh is mine " (Ps. Ix. 7). Afterwards (will He 
gather in) Ephraim,^ as it is said, " Ephraim is the defence 
of mine head " {ibid.). Afterwards Judah (will be gathered 
in), as it is said, " Judah is my sceptre " {ibid.). 

" Gilead is mine," refers to Ahab, king of Israel, who 
died in Ramoth-Gilead ; - " and Manasseh is mine," is to 
be taken literally ; " Ephraim is the defence of mine head," 
refers to Jeroboam ; ^ " Judah || is my sceptre," points to 
Ahithophel ; ' " Moab is my washpot " {ibid. 8), means 
Gehazi ; ■' "upon Edom will I cast my shoe" {ibid.), 
refers to Doeg ; ^ " Philistia, shout thou because of me " 
{ibid.). The Holy One, blessed be He, said : ' It is for Me 
to search for merit on their behalf,** and to make them 
friendly towards one another.^ 

Rabbi Phineas said : Thirty years ^'^ after Saul and his 
sons had been killed, a famine lasting three years arose in the 
days of David, year after year,^^ as it is said, " And there 
was a famine in the days of David three years, year after 
year " (2 Sam. xxi. 1). Why was it year after year ? In the 
first year all Israel went up to (celebrate the great) festivals. 
David said to them : Go and look if perchance there be 
among you some who worship idols, for because of the sin of 
idolatry rain is withheld, as it is said, " Take heed to your- 
selves, lest your heart be deceived, ^^ and ye turn aside, and 

' See infra, p. 141. The children of Joseph will be the first to be 
redeemed in the future, says the Abkath Rochel, ii. We are now in the 
field of Messianic Eschatology. 

^ See I Kings xxii. 29 fi. 

* He was an Ephraimite ; see i Kings xi. 26. The first editions 
add : " the son of Nebat." 

' He was of the tribe of Judah ; see 2 Sam. xvii. 15 for the story 
of Ahithophel. 

•' Gehazi inherited the leprosy of Naaman ; the " washpot " receives 
the dirt of the one who washes therein. On Gehazi see J.E. v. 580 
and 582, and see Num. Rab. xiv. i. 

«"The first editions add : " the Edomite." 

' The first editions add : " to them." 

* The reading of the Amsterdam edition is : " It is for Me to search 
for their merit." 

* See T.J. Synhedrin x. 2, 29b and Num. Rab., loc. cit. 

'° Jalkut to 2 Sam. xxi. ^ 154 reads like our MS., "After thirty 
years"; see Rashi on T.B. jebamoth, 79a. The first editions read: 
" In the year after Saul and his sons had been killed." 

^^ See T.J. Kiddushin, iv. i, '15b, c. which is the source of our text; 
see also T.J. Taanith, iii. 3, o^c, and Num. Rab. viii. 1, and Midrash 
Samuel xxviii. 3 ; cf. T.B. jebamoth, ySb. 

'* The MS. and the first editions end the quotation here. 



LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS 119 

serve other gods, and worship them " (Dent. xi. 16). What 
is written after this ? " And the anger of the Lord will be 
kindled against you, and he will shut up the heaven, that 
there be no rain " {ibid. 17).^ They went forth and in- 
vestigated, but did not find (any idolatry). 

In the second year ^ all Israel went up (to celebrate) the 
festivals. David said to them : Go forth and see if there be 
among you people who lead immoral lives, because OAving to 
the sin of immorality the heavens ^ are closed, as it is said, 
" And thou hast polluted the land \vith thy whoredoms " * 
(Jer. iii. 2). What is written after this in this context ? 
" Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there 
hath been no latter rain " {ibid. 3). They investigated, but 
they did not find (any immoral people). 

In the third |! year all Israel went up (to celebrate) the 
festivals. David said to them : Go forth and see if there 
be among you people who shed blood, because on account of 
the sin of those who murder ^ the rain is withheld, as it is 
said, "So ye shall not pollute the land ^ wherein ye are ; 
for blood, it polluteth the land " (Num. xxxv. 33). They 
went forth and investigated, but thej'^ did not find (any 
murderer). David said to them : Henceforth the matter 
only depends upon me. 

David arose and prayed before the Holy One, blessed 
be He. And He answered him : It is for Saul ; ' was not 
Saul one who was anointed with the oil of consecration ? 
and was it not Saul in whose days there was no idolatry in 
Israel ? and was it not Saul who secured his portion ^ with 

^ The first editions omit from " What is written " to the end of the 
quotation. 

2 Of the famine. 

* The first editions read : " the rain is withheld." 

* The first editions continue : " and with thy wickedness." 

* The first editions read : " the shedding of blood." Other reasons 
for the famine are suggested in T.B. Jebamoth, loc. cit. ; Jalkut, Num. 
§ 771 ; Midrash Samuel, in loc. ; and cf. T.J. Kiddushin, loc. cit. 

* The MS. and the first editions end the quotation here ; the MS. 
adds " etc." Cf. Isa. xxiv. 5. 

' See Num. Rab., loc. cit., and Jalkut, 2 Samuel (§ 154). The first 
editions read : " David said, Sovereign of the World ! I am not Saul, 
for in my days idolatry has not been done in Israel, and I am not 
Saul who was anointed with the oil of consecration, and I am not 
Saul who quarrelled with Samuel the prophet." This agrees with MS. 
Gaster. 

* See infra, p. 246, and cf. T.B. Berakhoth, 12b, and Kaphtor Va- 
Pherach vii. (ed. Edelmann), p. 21a. 



120 RABBI ELIEZER 

Samuel the prophet ? Yet ye are in tlie land (of Israel) 
and he is (buried) outside the land (of Israel). 

David forthwith arose and gathered together all the 
elders of Israel and the nobles, and they crossed the Jordan. 
They came to Jabesh-Gilead and they found the bones of 
Saul and Jonathan his son. No worm ^ had been able to 
touch - them, as it is said, " He keepeth all his bones, ^ 
not one of them is broken " (Ps. xxxiv. 20). They took 
the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son, and placed them in a 
coffin, and they crossed the Jordan, as it is said, " And they 
buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son . . . and 
they performed ' all that the king commanded " (2 Sam. xxi. 
14). Th(> king commanded that they should bring the coffin 
of Saul in all the borders of each tribe. And it came to pass 
that the tribe |1 wherein they brought the coffin of Saul, the 
people (there) with their wives and their sons and their 
daughters came forth and displayed loving-kindness to 
Saul and to his sons, so that all Israel should discharge 
their obligation of showing loving-kindness. And thus 
(did they do) until it came to the border of his posses- 
sion to the border of Jerusalem,^ in the land of Benjamin '^ 
in Jerusalem, as it is said, " And they buried the bones 
of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Ben- 
jamin " (ibid.),'^ in the vicinity of Jerusalem. When the 
Holy One, blessed be He, saw that all Israel had dis- 
played loving-kindness (to him ^), He was forthwith full 
of compassion, and He sent rain upon the land, as it is 
said, " And after that God was intreated for the land " 
(ibid.). 

* Worms destroy bones as well as flesh. Luria prefers to read napn, 
" decay," and not " worm." 

* Lit. " to rule over them." 

* In spite of the prolonged transportation, the bones were not 
broken. 

* The printed text and MS. Gaster add, " to them " ; this is not in 
the Bible text. 

* Luria reads: " the border of his inheritance, to the land of Ben- 
jamin"; see Num. Rab., loc. cit. The first editions read: "until it 
came to the border of Israel and to the land of Benjamin, as it is 
said, ' And they buried him in the border of his inheritance ' " 
(Josh. xxiv. 30). 

* The text in the printed editions differs here from our reading. 
'The quotation continues: "In Zela, in the sepulchre of Kish 

his father " (2 Sam, xxi. 14). 
« Saul. 



LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS 121 

Rabbi Nathaniel said: Three hundred years ^ before 
the birth of Josiah, was his name mentioned,^ as it is said, 
" Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, 
Josiah by name " (1 Kings xiii. 2) ; " And he was eight 
years old when he began to reign" (2 Kings xxii. 1). What 
is the disposition of a lad of eight years of age ? ^ He 
despised * the idols and broke in pieces the pillars, and 
smashed the images ^ and cut down the groves.^ His 
merit was great ' before the ^ Throne of Glory. Because 
of the evil which Israel did in secret ^ the righteous one i° 
was gathered (to his fathers), as it is said, " For the righteous 
is taken away because of the evil " (Isa. Ivii. 1).^^ || All ^- 
Judah gathered together also with Jeremiah the prophet 
to show loving-kindness to Josiah, as it is said, " And Jere- 
miah lamented for Josiah, ^^ and all the singing men and 
the singing zvomen spake of Josiah " (2 Chron. xxxv. 25). 
Rabbi Meir said: "The singing men" refer to the Levites, 
who stood upon the platform^"* singing; " and the singing 
women" refer to their wives. Rabbi Simeon said: These 
terms do not refer merely to the Levites and their wives ; 
but to the skilled women, as it is said, " Thus saith the Lord 

^ Between the accession of Jeroboam and Josiah there elapsed 
320 years. Josiah was eight years old when he ascended the throne, 
so that 312 years elapsed from the accession of Jeroboam to the 
birth of Josiah. In round numbers this is 300 years, see infra, 

P- 2 33- 

2 See infra, p. 233. 

3 This refers to 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3 ; see Targum on this text and 
also Pseudo-Rashi thereto. 

* This is based on Isa. vii. 16. 
^ See 2 Chron. xxxiv. 4, 7. 

^ See 2 Kings xxiii. 14. 

' Lit. shining or illustrious. See T.B. Mo'ed Katan, 25b, where 
Amos viii. 8 is applied to Josiah. 

* The first editions read : " before the Holy One, blessed be He, 
and the Throne of Glory." 

' Idolatry was again rife in the homes of the Hebrew people ; see 
Lam. Rab. i. (53) and T.B. Ta'anith, 22b. 
1" Josiah. 

11 This quotation is missing in the printed editions. The R.V. 
renders somewhat differently. 

12 The first editions read : " All the men of Judah and Jeru- 
salem." 

^^ The MS. and the first editions end the quotation here, the printed 
texts add " etc." The context justifies the insertion of the entire 
verse. 

1* The first editions read : " their platform." On the meaning of 
" Dukhan " see Levy, N.H.W.B. i. 382a. 



122 RABBI ELIEZER 

of hosts,^ Consider yc, and call for the mourninfi: women, ^ 
that they may come; and send for tlu- cunning women, 
that they may come : and let them make haste, and take 
up a wailing for us" (Jer. ix. 17, 18). Hence the wise men 
instituted (the rule) that this should be done^ to all the 
wise men of Israel and to their great "* men, as it is said, 
" And they made them an ordinance in Israel " (2 Chron. 
XXXV \ 25). 

Solomon saw that the observance ■' of loving-kindness 
was great before the Holy One, blessed be He. When he 
built the Temple he erected two gates, one for the bride- 
grooms, and the other for the mourners and the excom- 
municated. On Sabbaths the Israelites went and sat 
between those two gates ; and they knew that anyone who 
entered through the gate of the bridegrooms •> was a bride- 
groom, and they said to him, May He who dwells in this 
house cause thee to rejoice v\ith sons and daughters. If 
one entered through the gate of the mourners with his upper 
lip covered, then they knew that he was a mourner, and 
they would say to him. May He who dwells |] in this house 
comfort thee. If one entered through the gate of the mourners 
without " having his upper lip covered, then they knew that 
he was excommunicated, and they would say to him, May 
He who dwells in this house « put into thy heart (the 
desire) to listen to^ the words of thy associates, and may 
He put into the hearts of thy associates that they may draw 
thee near (to themselves), so that all Israel may discharge 
their duty by rendering the service of loving-kindness. 

1 The MS. reads " the Lord." The first editions read according 
to the Massoretic text. 

2 The MS. ends verse 17 here and continues verse 18. The first 
editions end the quotation at the words, " that they may come." 

3 The first editions read : " Thus all Lsrael took upon themselves 
to show loving-kindness." 

* This agrees with Luria's emendation. 

^ The first editions read : " the attribute." 

* See Sopherim xix. 12 (ed. Miiller, pp. 278 f.) for historical material. 
On the "gates" see Middoth ii. 2, and Tamid, 27a, and Kaphtor 
Va-Pherach vi. p. i6b. Dr. Biichler has written on the subject of the 
gates of the Temple; see J.Q.Ii. x. 678 and xi. pp. 46 ff. 

^ The 1st ed. omits the negative. 

* The first editions read: "comfort thee." Nachmanides, in his 
Torath Ha- A dam (ed. Venice), p. 7, omits these words. 

» The first editions omit " the words of." Nachmanides, op. cit., 
agrees with our MS. 



LOVING SERVICE TO MOURNERS 123 

When the Temple was destroyed, the sages ^ instituted 
(the rule) that the bridegrooms and mourners should go 
to the synagogues and to the houses of study. The men 
of the place see the bridegroom and rejoice with him ; and 
they see the mourner and sit with him upon the earth, so 
that 2 all the Israelites may discharge their duty in the 
service of loving-kindness. With reference to them he^ 
says : Blessed art Thoii/ who giveth a good reward to those 
who show loving-kindness.^ 

1 Nachmanides [ibid.) reads: "the sages"; see Semachoth vi. 
and Middoth (ii. 12). Sopherim, loc. cit.. quotes this rule in the name of 
R. Ehezer ben HjTkanos, clearly showing that the compiler of Sopherim 
used our book and regarded it as the work of R. Eliezer b. Hyrkanos. 
The rule is a Palestinian custom ; see Briill, Jahrbucher, i. p. 30. 

2 Nachmanides [ihid.) omits " and they sit," and reads : " all the 
Israelites." 

3 See for a similar expression, supra, p. 73. It might be that " he " 
refers to the one who receives the service of loving-kindness. Perhaps 
it merely refers to any Israelite who has to say the benediction. Or, 
we might render : "it savs." 

* The first editions add : " O Lord." 

6 See T.B. Ketliuboth, 8b. The form of the benediction has its 
parallel in the Daily Morning Service ; see Singer, p. 7. 



CHAPTER XVIIIi 

THE CREATION ON THE EVE OF THE SABBATH [21 A. i.] 

Ten things were created (on the eve of the Sabbath) in 
the t^vihght (namely) : - the mouth of the earth ; ^ the 
mouth of the well ; ^ the mouth of the ass ; ^ the rainbow ; ' 
the Manna ; " the Shamir ; * the shape of the alphabet ; ^ 
the \^Titing ^° and the tables (of the law) ; ^^ and the ram of 

^ In the printed text and MS. Gaster this is ch. xix. 
V - The words in brackets are missing in the MS. but they occur in the 
first editions and in MS. Gaster. 

■' See Num. xvi. 32. For the subject-matter of this paragraph see 
Aboth V. 9, with the excellent obserx'ations of Tavlor in his 2nd edition 
of Aboth, pp. S3 ff. Our text agrees to a large extent with this Mishnah, 
but differs from the version in T.B. Pesachim, 54a ; Siphr§, Deut. § ^55, 
Pal. Targum, Num. xxii. 28, Mekhilta, p. 51a, and supra, p. 14. Eight 
things enumerated in our context were said (supra, p. 14, note i) to 
have been created on the second day. This statement is wanting in our 
MS. ; it was inserted for the first time in the second edition of P.R.E. 
For the ten things see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 24 f. See 
also Lekach Tob, Gen. ii. 3. p. 9a. 

* In T.B. Pesachim and Siphre, loc. cit., the " well" only is men- 
tioned. The " nwiith of the well" is mentioned in our text and in 
Aboth V. 9 ; this may refer to the well of Hagar or Jacob, or the 
reference might be to Num. xxi. 16. See infra, pp. 268, 323. 

* See Num. xxii. 28. 

* See Gen. ix. 13 and J.E. x. 312. 

' See Ex. xvi. 15, and Pal. Targ. to Ex. xvi. 4, 15 ; and cf. J .E. viii. 
293. The Oxford MS. and MS. Gaster and the first editions add : " the 
Rod." See infra, pp. 312 f., and cf. Ex. iv. 17. 

^ See I Kings vi. 7 for the information that no tool was used in the 
Temple. How then were the stones cut ? The legend says, "By the 
worm called Shamir"; see T.B. Gittin, 68a. On the Shamir see J.E. 
xi. 229 f. and T.J. Sotah ix. 13, 24b, and T.B. Sotah .^csb. For the 
references to the " Ten Marvels " created on the eve of the first Friday, 
see Siphre, Deut., loc. cit. 

* See supra, p. 14, note 6. 

" Interesting material on the Hebrew alphabet is contained in the 
Othijoth de R. 'Akiba. 

" On the " tables of the Law " in Rabbinical literature see J.E. xi. 
662 fi. The "tables" are not mentioned supra, p. 14. note i; see, 
however, p. 15. 

"»4 



CREATION ON EVE OF SABBATH 125 

Abraham.^ (Some sages say : the destroying spirits ^ 
also, and the sepulchre of Moses,^ and the ram of Isaac ; 
and other sages say : the tongs also.*) 

At the seventh hour (of the day-" on Friday*'), the first 
man entered the garden of Eden, and the ministering || angels 
were praising before him,' and dancing before him, and 
escorting him ^ into the garden of Eden ; and at twilight 
at the eve of Sabbath,^ he was driven forth, and he went 
out. The ministering angels were crying aloud concern- 
ing him, saying to him : " Man ^" in glory tarrieth not over- 
night,*^ when he is like the beasts that pass away " ^- (Ps. 
xlix. 12). 

" Like a beast that passes away " is not written here, 
but "like the beasts that pass away," (so) were they both.^^ 
The Sabbath day arrived and became an advocate ^* for the 
first man, and it spake before Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! 

^ See infra, pp. 2286. The Oxford MS. and MS. Gaster omit this. 
The next section in brackets is wanting in our MS. ; it occurs in the 
Oxford MS. (O.A. 167), MS. Gaster, and in almost the same reading 
in the first editions. 

* See supra, p. i 4, note 8 ; and see Gen. Rab. vii. 4 ; and cf. J.E. 
iv. 514 ff. 

3 See Dent, xxxiv. 6. 

* See Taylor, Aboth, p. 86, note 22, and Hoffmann, Mishnajoth, 
p. 352, note 37. 

* i.e. I o'clock p.m. ; see Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. 3, p. 202a. This 
contradicts the statement in Chapter XI. ; see supra, p. 78. 

^ " Of the day on Friday " is missing in our MS., but it occurs in 
the 2nd ed., and in the MS. Gaster. This was the day of his creation. 
The texi is lit. " eve of the Sabbath." 

' See supra, p. 89 ; and cf. Slav. Enoch xxxi., where Adam per- 
ceives " the angels singing the song of triumph." Cf. Koran, ed. 
Rodwell, igii, p. 341. 

* So also in Jubilees iii. 9. 

' Friday afternoon between sunset and night ; see also Slav. Enoch 
xxxii. 2, which implies that the expulsion of Adam was followed by the 
Sabbath. See supra, p. 78. 

10 The Hebrew word is also " Adam." 

^1 For he did not tarry overnight in his glory in Paradise ; see T.B. 
Synhedrin 3Sb. 

^■^ i.e. when they were driven forth out of Paradise ; see infra, 
p. 143. This Psalm (xlix.) is applied to Adam by our book and by 
many Midrashim, see Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. 3, p. 202b. 

1* The point here is the change from the singular to the plural : " they 
were like " ; see Gen. Rab. xxi. 7. They {i.e. Adam and Eve) became 
like the beasts when they were expelled from Eden ; they had to die 
like the beasts. Perhaps the meaning of the Midrash would be better 
understood by translating verse 12 of Ps. xlix. thus: "Adam did 
not tarry overnight in glory, he was to be likened to the beasts ; yea, 
they (Adam and Eve) were to be (thus) compared." 

^* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 74. Cf. infra, pp. 143 f. 



126 RABBI ELIEZER 

No murderer ^ has been slain in the world during the six 
days of creation, and wilt Thou commence (to do this) with 
me ? 2 Is this its sanctity, and is this its blessing? as it 
is said, " And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed 
it " (Gen. ii. 3). By the merit of the Sabbath day Adam 
was saved from the judgment of Gehinnom.^ When Adam 
perceived the power of the Sabbath, he said : Not for nought 
did the Holy One, blessed be He, bless and hallow ^ the 
Sabbath day. He began to observe (the Sabbath) ^ and to 
utter a psalm for the Sabbath day, and he said : " A psalm, 
a song for the Sabbath day" (Ps. xcii. 1).® Rabbi Simeon^ 
said : The first man said this psalm, and it was forgotten 
throughout all the generations until IMoses ^ came and 
renewed it || according to his name,^ " A psalm, a song for 
the Sabbath day " (ibid.), for the day which is entirely Sabbath 
and rest in the life of eternity.^" 

" It is good to confess ^^ to the Lord" {ibid.). The first 
man said: Let all the generations learn from me,'- that 
whosoever sings and utters psalms to the name of the Most 
High, and confesses his transgressions in the court of justice ^^ 
and abandons (them), will be delivered from the judgment 

^Perhaps the text should read: "No man has been slain." In 
Shocher Tob, loc. cit., the reading is : " No man has been punished." 
- On the Sabbath. 

* See T.B. Sabbath, ii8a. No mourning is permitted on the 
Sabbath, for the dead are not in the power of Gehenna on that 
day. For parallel Christian legends see Wisdom, ed. Deaue, p. i6j. 

* By showing Divine love and mercy to Adam, the sanctity and the 
blessing of the Sabbath were realized by him. 

* The first editions read : " to sing." 

* According to Shocher Tob, loc. cit., Adam wished to sing hymns to 
the Sabbath day : but the latter declined the honour, and told Adam to 
join in singing praises to God. 

' The first editions read : " Ishmael." 

® See Gen. P„;il:,. yv.ii. 13, and Kimchi, Preface to Commentary on 
Psalms. 

* The first editions omit : " accorJi'^g ^^ his name." See T.B. Baba 
Bathra, 14b, for the Mosaic Psalms. 

"> This is missing in Shocher Tob, ic?- "^^ ^"^^ Jalkut, Ps. xcii. S S43. 
It probably owes its place in our text \-° ^ marginal gloss by some 
scribe of our book, being based on the Mish."^^ Tamid (end). See Senior 
Sachs' remarks on this passage in Ha-Teckty^' ^- P- ^° (notes). 

" R.V. " to give thanks." 

^■^ Sec infra, p. 147. The n^ xt clause J^ccurs in our MS. and in the 
Oxford MS. only. ^ 

"The MS. uses here an abbreviatioK """ (Bbd). It does not 
occur in any of the printed texts. Thci^^f°'^'^ ^^- leads : "at the 
judgment.' 



CREATION ON EVE OF SABBATH 127 

of Gehinnom,^ as it is said, " It is good to confess to the 
Lord " (ibid.). 

" To declare thy loving-kindness in the morning " {ibid. 
2). Adam said : (This refers to) all who enter this world ^ 
which is like unto the night ; ^ and to all who come into the 
world to come, which is like unto the morning.^ They 
shall declare the faithfulness and love of the Holy One, 
blessed be He, which He has shown to me,^ (for He has) 
delivered me from the judgment of Gehinnom, as it is said, 
" To declare thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy 
faithfulness every night " (ibid.). 

" Upon a ten-stringed instrument and upon the psaltery " 
(ibid. 3). All testimonies reliable to Israel are (celebrated) 
with ten (males). The harp upon which David played had 
ten strings.^ The testimony for the dead is through ten 
(males).' The testimony for the (public) benediction of 
(God's) Name is through ten (males).^ The testimony of 
the covenant of circumcision is through ten (males).^ The 
testimony for Chalizah ^° is through ten ' (males),^^ as it 

^ Cf. Prov. xxviii. 13. See also Wisdom, x. i, 2. 

* The first editions read : " the world to come which is like unto 
the morning. ' And thy faithfulness every nighf- ' (Ps. xcii. 2) (refers) 
to all who come into this world, which is like unto the night." 

^ In Aboth de R. Nathan («) i. p. 4a this is derived from Isa. xxi. 11 : 
" Watchman, what of the night ? " 

* Cf. the term " Dayspring " applied to the Christian Messiah; see 
Hellenism and Christianity, p. 119. Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. cit., 
derives the lesson of our Haggadah from Lam. iii. 23. 

* In this world by prolonging my life. 

* Luria thinks the reading should be " Nimin " and not " Nebalim " ; 
see Targum, in loc, and cf. infra, p. 229. 

' To enable the b^Jiediction for the mourners to be recited, ten adult 
males are required to form a quorum, see T.B. Kethuboth, 8b, p.nd 
Sophcrimx. 8, xix. 12. See T.B. Megillah, 23b; Nachmanides, Torath 
Ha-Adam, pp. 40 ff., and Shochcr Tob, loc. cit., p. 203b, note 61, and 
Joreh Di'ah, 361. On the Minyan (or ten adult males) see J.E. viii. 603, 
and Elbogcn, Der JiXdische Gottesdienst in seiner geschichtlichen 
Enfwicklung, p. 493. 

^ This refers to the " Bar khu " ; see Singer, pp. 37, 96. 

^ See Tur, Joreh Di'ah, 265, quoting Zemach Gaon, who holds that if 
the rite can be performed in the presence of ten males it should be done, 
but it may be done even if ten be not present. See also Shocher Tob, 
Ps. xcii. 7, p. 203b. note 62 ; and Jalkut to Ps. xcii. § 843. Our "text 
is referred to by Maharil in his Laws on the rite of Circumcision ; see 
also Piske Rikanati, 593. 

1° The ceremony of untying and taking off the shoe of a brother-in- 
law by the childless sister-in-law who has become a widow, see Deut. 
XXV. 5-11, and cf. T.B. Jebamoth, loia, and Eben Ha-'Ezer, § 109, 13, 
and Shocher Tob, loc. cit., p. 204a, note 64. 

^^ The first editions add here : " The testimony for the benediction 



128 RABBI ELIEZER 

is said, " And he ^ took ten men of the elders of the city " 
(Ruth iv. 2).2 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said : I desire of Israel 
the meditation of their mouths like ^ the psaltery and an 
instrument of ten strings,^ as it is said, " With ^ the medita- 
tion of II the harp " (Ps. xeii. 3). 

" For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad through thy 
work" {ibid. 4). Adam said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
had made me glad and brought me into the garden of Eden, 
and showed me the place of the abode of the righteous in the 
garden of Eden,^ and He showed me the four kingdoms,^ 
their rule and their destruction ; ^ and He showed me David,^ 
the son of Jesse, and his dominion in the future that is to 
come.^" I took from my years seventy years ^^ and added 
them to his days,^^ as it is said, " Thou wilt add days to the 

of marriage is through ten (males)." See T.B. Kethuboth, 8b, for the 
custom. 

1 The MS. and the first editions read " Boaz," which is not in accord- 
ance with the Hebrew text. 

^ See Shocher Tob, loc. cit., for the entire passage ; and cf. T.B. 
Kethuboth, 7a. 

■'' The printed text reads " with," Luria suggests " like " ; see 
Jalkut, Ps., loc. cit., and Shocher Tob, in loc, p. 204a. 

* The first editions read : " psaltery and harp." 

* " With " {'"7]}) is probably to be explained according to the Midrash 
as though it meant " it is for Me " ; i.e. My lot is to hear their psalms. 

' Slav. Enoch viii. i fi.-ix. i describes the heavenly garden of 
Eden : " This place is prepared for the righteous." See Introduction. 

' Luria adds in his text : " namely, Babylon, Media, Macedonia, and 
Syria." The last name should probably be Edom {i.e. Rome). 

* The first editions read : " ruUng and destroying." The Shocher 
Tob {in loc), p. 204b, agreeing with our MS., reads : " And He led me 
into the garden of Eden and showed me the place of the abode of the 
righteous, and He showed me the four kingdoms." The printed editions 
omit the passage referring to the abode of the righteous. 

• i.e. the Messiah. 

1° The Messianic kingdom. This is to be followed by the " Future 
World."' The two periods, in contradistinction to the present age, are 
often spoken of as " the future that is to come." 

" This Haggadic fancy, which occurs in Jubilees iv. 30, was, known to 
Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph. Ixx.xi. : " For according to the days of the 
tree of life . . . we believe a thousand years to be figuratively ex- 
pressed. For as it was said to Adam, ' In the day that he should eat 
of the tree, he should surely die ' (Gen. ii. 17), so we know he did not 
hve a thousand years. We believe also this expression, ' The day of 
the Lord is a thousand years ' (Ps. xc. 4 ; 2 Pet. iii. 8) relates to this." 
See also Epistle of Barnabas xv. The origin of the legend is to be 
traced to the verse quoted (Ps. Ixi. 6) and the psalmist's interpretation 
of man's life which is said to consist of seventy years; see Ps. xc. 10 ; 
see also Gen. Rab. xix. 8, and Num. Rab. xiv. 12. 

'- i.e. David's life, which lasted seventy years. 



CREATION ON EVE OF SABBATH 129 

days of the king ; ^ his years shall be as many generations " 
{ibid. Ixi. 6). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : 
Thou wilt add days to the days of (the king Messiah) ; I also 
will add to his years in the future which is to come, as though 
they were many generations, as it is said, " His years shall 
be as many generations " (ibid.).^ I have given to God 
praise, and song (lauding) His works, as it is said, " I will 
sing of the works of thy hands " (ibid. xcii. 4). 

" How great are thy works, O Lord ! " {ibid. 5). Adam 
began to glorify and to praise the Name of the Most High, 
as it is said, " How great are thy works, O Lord ! " {ibid.) 
but Thy thoughts are very deep,^ like the great deep ■* 
exceedingly (deep), as it is said, " Thy thoughts are very 
deep" {ibid.). "A brutish man knoweth not" {ibid. 6). 
Every man of Israel ^ who is brutish (in knowledge) and has 
not learnt understanding, let the wise men of Israel teach 
him the ways of the Torah,^ as it is said, " Consider, ye 
brutish among the people " {ibid. xciv. 8).' But a man who 
is an expert among the nations of the world ^ is still foolish. 
Why ? For he knoweth not the words of the Torah, as it is 
said, " Neither doth a fool || understand this"^ {ibid. xcii. 6). 

" When the wicked spring up as the grass " {ibid. 7). 
True 1" (it is) that Thou, O Lord, beholdest the wicked, that 
they are as numerous ^^ as the grass to cover the face of all 
the earth,^^ and all the worshippers of idols flourish,^^ (Xhou 

1 In the MS. the quotation ends here ; the first editions continue the 
verse. 

2 This entire sentence is missing in the printed texts. 

^ The first editions read : " to the depth of Thy thoughts (is similar 
to) the deep (which is) exceedingly deep." 

* The deep (Tehom) was held to be unsearchable. See Jobxxxviii. 
i6: "Hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep?" Cf. T.B. 
Pesachim, 54b. 

^ The first editions read here : " A man who is brutish among 
Israel." 

* The first editions read : " teach him understanding." 

* This is Israel ; see Jalkut, Ps. § S43. 

* The first edition reads : " Expert in faith." The Venice edition has 
the same reading as our MS. Paul held the wisdom of the world to be 
foolishness be for' God ; see i Cor. iii. 19. 

* "This" {?6tk) is interpreted to mean the Torah; seeT.B.'Abodah 
Zarah, 2b. 

'" The first editions read : " At the time when Thou seest." 

11 The ist ed. reads : " who are seen." 
^^ Cf. Isa. xxvii. 6. 

12 The ist ed. omits from this word till " And he did not say 
Hallelujah." 



130 RABBI ELIEZER 

knowest) that they and their works are an evil iniquity ^ 
for the days of the Messiah.^ The Holy One, blessed be He, 
has only multiplied them in order to destroy them from this 
world 3 and from the world to come, as it is said, " To have 
them destroyed for ever and ever. And thou, O Lord, art on 
high for evermore " {ibid. 7, 8). David saw that the wicked 
increased like grass, (so as) to cover the face of all the earth, 
and that all the worshippers of idols flourished, and that 
they and their works were iniquity, and he did not say " Hal- 
lelujah " ("praise ye the Lord") until he perceived that 
in the future they would be destroyed froni * this world 
and from the world to come ; and he said " Hallelujah," as it 
is said, " Sinners shall be consumed out of the earth,^ and 
the wicked shall be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. 
Praise ye the Lord " {ibid. civ. 35).^ (Then will He be) 
King exalted ' in the heights and in the depths, as it is 
said, " And thou, O Lord, art on high for evermore " {ibid. 
xcii. 8). 

" For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord " {ibid. 9) ; Israel 
said : Sovereign of all worlds ! Thou hast placed all our 
enemies over us ^ (to afflict us with) a heavy yoke on our 
backs, but we know that they are doomed to destruc- 
tion, as it is said, " O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall 
perish " ^ {ibid.). And all || idolaters, for they and their 
works are iniquity, shallj be scattered like chaff ^^ before 
the wind.^^ 

1 The reading of Shocher Tob {in loc.) is : " an iniquity hidden." 

2 The Venice edition adds : " And the wicked, who are as numerous 
as grass." 

3 In the days of the Messiah. According to the Christian doctrine 
of election, very many of the sons of men will be doomed to enter 
Hell and to remain there for all eternity. See Matt. vii. 13, xxiii. 33. 
and Mark ix. 48. 

■• The printed texts omit from " from this world " to " Hallelujah." 

* The printed texts omit the rest of the verse. 

« See T.B. Bcrakhoth, loa. Note the interpretation given by Beruria, 
the wife of Rabbi Meir : " Let sins be consumed out of the earth, and 
then there will be no more wicked people." The first edition omits the 
next sentence in our text. The Venice edition reads : " Then the Holy 
One, blessed be He, (will be) King, exalted." 

' MS. reads " Marom," exalted ; the Venice edition reads " Masor," 
which is an error. See Jalkut on Ps. xcii. 8, § 843. 

* In Egypt and Babylon. 

* See infra, p. 383. 
10 Cf. Dan. ii. 35- 

" The first editions add : " As it is said, ' All the workers of iniquity 
shall be scattered ' " (Ps. xcii. 9). 



CREATION ON EVE OF SABBATH 131 

" But my horn hast thou exalted like that of the reem " ^ 
{ibid. 10). Just as the horns of the reem ^ are taller than 
those of all beasts and animals,^ and it gores to its right 
and to its left, likewise (is it with) Menachem, son of 'Ammiel, 
son of Joseph/ his horns are taller than those of all kings,^ 
and he will gore in the future towards the four corners of 
the heavens, and concerning him Moses said this verse, 
" His firstling bullock, majesty is his, and his horns are the 
horns of the reem : with them he shall gore ® the peoples 
all of them, even the ends of the earth " (Deut. xxxiii. 17). 
All ' the kings will rise up against him to slay him, as it 
is said, " The kings of the earth set themselves, and the 
rulers (take counsel together) " (Ps. ii. 2). And Israel 
who (will be) in the Land (of Palestine) (will experience) 
great trouble,^ but in their troubles they (will be) like a 
green olive,^ as it is said, " I am anointed with fresh oil " 
{ibid. xcii. 10).io 

1 Or " wild-ox." On the re6m see Delitzsch, Babel and Bible (E.T.), 
p. 164, where the reem is shown in a beautiful illustration. 

2 Lit. " this reem." 

^ See Shocher Tob, p. 204a. The Venice edition reads: "of all 
animals." This is wanting in the ist ed. 

* " Son of Joseph " probably means " of the tribe of Joseph." The 
reference to the reem is suggested by the Blessing of the tribe in 
Deut. xxxiii. 17. According to the Zohar (Num. p. 173b), Messiah 
ben David is Menachem ; this is also the view of the Book of Zerubbabel 
(ed. JeUinck, B.H.M. i. 59). Cf. Abkath Rochel ii. ; T.B. Synhedrin, 
98b; J.E. viii. 511 f.; and R.iL.J. Lxviii. pp. 135. 150. 'Ammiel ap- 
pears to be another form of " Emanuel." 

* The Venice edition reads: " all animals." The ist ed. omits the 
name of " Menachem, son of 'Ammiel, son of Joseph," and reads instead : 
" the son of David." 

' The MS. ends quotation here, adding " etc. " The printed texts 
conclude the quotation with " re6m." 

^ This paragraph occurs in the first editions, but in the Venice 
edition it is inserted after the following passage, which is wanting in our 
MS. and in the ist ed. : " With him are the ten thousands of Ephraim, 
and the thousands of Manasseh,^ as it is said, ' And they are the 
ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh ' " 
(Deut. xxxiii. 17). 

* See Pesikta Zutarta, Balak, p. 129b. 

* The MS. adds : " I am afflicted " ; it is missing in the printed texts. 

lo See Shocher Tob, in loc. The Midrash interprets " I am an- 
ointed " as though it were connected with the root " Balah," " to 
afflict," cf. I Chron. xvii. 9, and not from " Balal." In the time of 
trouble Israel trusts in God and shall be like a green olive tree full of 
sap ; cf . Ps. lii. 8 ; T.B. Berakhoth, 35a, and Jalkut, Ps. § 845. Perhaps 

^ These tribes are to come with the Messiah ben Joseph to oppose 
Gog and Magog ; see supra, pp. ii7f., and Abkath Rochel ii. 



132 RABBI ELIEZER 

"Mine eyes have looked on mine enemies" {ibid. 11). 
The Israelites in the Land (of Israel i) behold the downfall 
of their enemies, as it is said, " Mine eyes have looked 
on mine enemies" (ibid.). And^ such who in the future 
will come against them (Israel), their ears shall hear of their 
destruction, as it is said, " INIine ears have heard con- 
cerning the evil-doers that rise up against me " {ibid.). 

" The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree " {ibid. 
12). Just as this palm tree is beautiful in all its appearance," 
and all its fruits are sweet and good,* likewise the son of 
David ^ is beautiful in his appearance" and in his glory, and 
all his deeds || are good and sweet before the Holy One, blessed 
be He, as it is said, " The righteous shall flourish like the 
palm tree : he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon " {ibid.). 
Just as this cedar has very many roots beneath the earth, 
and even if the four winds ' of the world came^ against 
it, they could not move it from its place,» as it is said, 
" He shah grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They that are 
planted in the house of the Lord " {ibid. 12, 13). In the 
future when the Holy One, blessed be He, will gather Israel 
from the four corners of the world,i" just like this gardener 
who transplants ^^ his fir trees from one garden-bed to another 
garden-bed, likewise in the future will the Holy One, blessed 

our text should be rendered : " But their trouble, being like a green 
olive tree, made one distressed " ; or: "But (in) their trouble am I 
anointed as with (the oil of) a green olive tree." 

1 After the great trouble and misfortunes endured by Israel the 
Messianic redemption will take place, and the enemies will be finally 
judged. See Jalkut, loc. cit. 

2 This paragraph does not occur in the printed editions. 

* On the palm tree see Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. ii. with notes Sy fT. 

* See T.B. Kethuboth, lob. The palm branch forms a striking 
element in the public entry into Jerusalem by the Founder of 
Christianity ; see John xii. 13. 

■> This is the Messiah. 

« See Ps. xxi. 5 ; and cf. Shocher Tob on Ps. xcu. 11. 
' i.e. the winds from all four quarters of the world. Cf. Matt. vii. 
24, 25, and Wisdom, iv. 4. 

* The first editions add : "to blow." 

* The ist ed. agrees here with our MS. The Venice edition 
adds: " Likewise (will it be) with the son of David, whose might and 
deeds are manifold before the Holy One, blessed be He. Even if all 
the nations come against him they will not move him from his place." * 

10 So Isaiah (xi. 12) prophesies. 
" To improve them. 

1 It will be otherwise with the Messiah ben Joseph, who will be 
slain in the conflict with Gog and Magog; see Ab^ath Rochel, loc. cit. 



CREATION ON EVE OF SABBATH 133 

be He, gather them ^ from an impure land and (plant them) 
in a pure land,- as it is said, " They that are planted in the 
house of the Lord " (ibid.). Like this grass, they shall 
blossom and sprout forth in the Temple, as it is said, " In 
the courts of our God they shall flourish " (ibid.). 

" They shall still bring forth fruit in old age " {ibid. 14). 
Just as this ^ old age is glory and honour to old men,^ so 
shall they be in glory and honour^ before the Holy One, 
blessed be He, as it is said, " They shall be full of sap and 
green "^ (ibid.). These are the mighty heroes by reason of 
their good deeds, as it is said, " They shall be full of sap 
and green, to declare that the Lord is upright " (ibid. 14, 15). 
Why all these (statements) ? ' To declare, and to proclaim 
clearly the works of the Holy One, blessed be He, for He is 
righteous and upright, and that there is no unrighteousness 
(in Him), as it is said,^ " And there is no unrighteousness 
in him " {ibid, 15).» 

* " An unclean land" is expressed by "outside the Land" (of 
Palestine) in the Amsterdam ed. Any land outside the " Holy " Land 
is held to be unclean in the sense that the Biblical Laws of purity are 
not observed therein, such laws being only intended for Palestine ; see 
Lev. xviii. 25. 

2 See supri. p. 84. Just as Jews consider the soil of Palestine 
to be " terra sancta," so the English Church has a preference for 
the water of the river Jordan in administering the rite of baptism ; this, 
at least, was the case at the baptism of the late King Edward vii. 

3 Luria omits the word " this." 

* See Prov. xx. 29. 

* Cf. Jalkut, loc. cit. 

* The next words until " To declare " are missing in the first 
editions. 

'As to the prosperity of the wicked. The Venice edition reads: 
" To declare, to praise," etc. 

* The first editions add : " He is my rock." 

* On God's justice see Siphre, Deut. § 307. 



CHAPTER XIXi 

THE SABBATH [22b. ii.J 

The School of Shammai said : The heavens ^ were created 
first, and the earth afterwards, as it is said,^ " In the beginning 
God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. i. 1). The 
School of Hillel said : The earth was created first, and the 
heavens afterwards, as it is said, "Of old hast thou laid the 
foundation of the earth ; and the heavens are the work of 
thy hands " (Ps. cii. 25).* The School of Shammai said : 
The heavens were created first, and the earth afterwards, 
as it is said,^ " These are the generations of the heavens 
and of the earth " (Gen. ii. 4). The School of Hillel said : 
The earth was created first, and the heavens afterwards, 
as it is said, " In the day that the Lord God made earth and 
heaven " {ibid.). The School of Shammai said : The heavens 
were created first, because it is said, " And the heavens and 
the earth were finished " {ibid. 1). The School of Hillel 

^ This is ch. xviii. in the printed editions. 

* The history' of the creation of man is associated by the Rabbis 
with the fundamental law of Jewish ethics, the rule of loving-kindness. 
To quote their dictum, " The Torah begins and ends with the service 
of loving-kindness" (T.B. Sotah, 14a). The preceding chapters xvi. 
and xvii. dealt with the service of loving-kindness, and the ston.' of 
the Creation is now resumed. 

* The controversy was evoked by the precedence given to heaven 
or earth in the texts of Scripture quoted by the different teachers ; see 
Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 6 f. 

« See T.B. Chagigah. 12a ; T.J. Chagigah ii. i, 77c, d ; Gen. Rab. i. 
15 ; Lev. Rab. xxxvi. i ; Midrash on Samuel v. (where the School of 
Shammai is represented as expressing the opinions which are else- 
where attributed to the School of Hillel) ; and cf. Sepher Ha-Bahir, § 17, 
and Bachcr, T. i. 14. 

* The first editions quote here Isa. xlviii. 13 : " Yea, mine hand hath 
laid the foundation of the earth." The earth is mentioned first in this 
verse, and therefore the opinion of the School of Hillel is thereby 
substantiated. The "School of Hillel" is the correct reading, as in 
our MS. The following passage until " Yea, mine hand " is omitted 
in the printed texts. 

134 



THE SABBATH 135 

said : The earth was created first, and the heavens afterwards, 
as it is said, " Yea, mine hand hath laid the foundation of 
the earth, and my right hand hath spread out the heavens " 
(Isa. xlviii. 13). The School of Shammai said : The heavens 
were created first, and the earth afterwards, because it is 
said, " Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and 
the earth is my footstool " {ibid. Ixvi. 1). Contention arose 
between them {i.e. the Schools^) on this question, until the 
Holy Spirit ^ rested between them, and they both agreed 
that both (heavens and earth) were created in one hour and 
at one moment.^ 

What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He put forth 
His right hand and stretched forth the heavens, and He 
put forth His left hand and founded the earth, as it is said, 
" Yea, mine hand \\ hath laid the foundation of the earth, 
and my right hand hath spread out the heavens: ^ when I called 
unto them, they stood up together " {ibid, xlviii. 13). Both 
of them were created simultaneously, as it is said, " And 
the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host " 
(Gen. ii. 1).^ And, indeed, were the heavens and the earth 
completed (so as not to require God's providence) for their 
continued existence and maintenance ? Has it not been 
written concerning them, " Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is 
my throne, and the earth is my footstool" (Isa. Ixvi. 1)?^ 
But they were finished with reference to the original deed 
(of creation) and with reference to the work (of being created) 
and being called into existence. Therefore it is said, " And 
the heavens and the earth were finished " (Gen. ii. 1). 

Israel spake before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign 
of the worlds ! Thou didst complete the heavens and the 
earth with reference to being made, created, and called into 
existence ; ' let not Thy mercy and loving-kindness be 

1 Lit. them. 

^ The first editions read " Shekhinah." 

* The Zohar, Gen. 17b, has this idea; cf. ibid. 29b. The basis for 
this third view is afiforded by the text Isa. xlviii. 13 : " When I called 
unto them, they stood up together." The Targum renders this text 
thus : " Yea, with my word I completed the earth, and with my power 
I expanded the heavens ; I called to them, they stood together." 

* The MS. and the printed texts end the quotation here. 

* SeeMekhilta, p. la. 

* The first editions do not quote this verse, but " Do not I fill heaven 
and earth ? " (Jer. xxiii. 24) instead. 

' The first editions add : " in the six days of Creation," 



136 RABBI ELIEZER 

\vithheld,^ for if Thou withholdcst Thy mercy and loving- 
kindness we are unable to exist,- because the world rests 
upon Thy mercy and loving-kindness,^ as it is said, " For 
the mountains shall depart,' and the hills be removed; but 
my kindness shall not depart from thee . . . saith the 
Lord that hath mercy on thee" (Isa. liv. 10);'^ and it says 
(elsewhere), " Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and 
thy loving-kindnesses ; for they have been ever of old " 
(Ps. XXV.' 6).« 

" And on the seventh day God finished ' his work " 
(Gen. ii. 2). The Holy One, blessed be He, created seven 
dedications,^ six of them He dedicated, and one is reserved 
for the (future) generations. He created the first day 
and finished all His work and dedicated it,^ as it is said, 
" And it was evening, and it was morning, one day " 
{ibid. i. 5). He created the second day and finished all His 

* " From us " should probably be added to the text ; cf. Ps. xl. ii. 

- Man sins, and therefore needs God's grace and mercy. This idea 
is well expressed by the teaching of 4 Ezra vii. 135-1.^7. The Bible 
text, "Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses, 
for they have been ever of old " (Ps. xxv. 6), is a parallel to our passage ; 
cf. Targum of this verse, which renders the last words, " for they have 
been from eternity." Cf. Gen. Rab. xxii. i, Jalkut, Ps. § 702, and 
Shocher Tob to Ps. xxv. 8, p. 107a, where the question is discussed. 
How would mankind have arisen if God had dealt with Adam with 
strict justice ? The grace of God was granted to Adam so as to enable 
mankind to arise and flourish on earth before the doom of death over- 
took him. There may be an attempt here to counteract the un-Jewish 
doctrines of the Pauline school, which taught that, owing to Adam's 
sin, God's grace was withdrawn, and only through the advent of a 
Second Adam (or Christ) could this Divine grace be restored to the 
world. The theologians who suggest that Judaism has something to 
learn from the Pauline doctrine of grace must be unaware of the Jewish 
teaching on this theme. 

3 This idea has already been mentioned in our book. See supra, 
pp. 7^1, 84, 106. 

* The quotation ends here in the first editions, which add " etc. " ; 
in the MS. the quotation ends with the words, " be removed." 

* God's love and mercy cannot cease, they are eternal attributes. 

* This quotation is wanting in the printed texts ; it concludes in 
the MS. with the words. " loving-kindnesses." The point in the 
quotation lies in the words " ever of old," which might be rendered 
" eternal " or " from everlasting." 

' " His work " is not in the MS., but is covered by " etc." 
of the printed editions. See Pesikta Rabbathi, p. iSjb; Jalkut, 
Gen. § 16. 

* The six days of Creation were complete, and each day's work had 
its dedication. This did not apply to the seventh day ; see T.B. 
Sabbath, lib; T.B. Berakhoth, 58b. The Sabbath will only receive 
its completion in the future world ; see T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 31a. 

* The reading has its parallel in Menorath Ha-Maor, § 159 (end). 



THE SABBATH 137 

work and dedicated it, as it is said, |] " And it was evening, 
and it was morning, a second day " (ibid^ 8) ; and so through 
the six days of creation. He created the seventh day, (but) 
not for work, because it is not said in connection therewith, 
" And it was evening and it was morning." Why ? For it is 
reserved for the generations (to come), as it is said, " And 
there shall be one day which is known unto the Lord ; not 
day, and not night " (Zech. xiv. 7).^ 

A parable : To what is this matter to be compared ? To 
a man who had precious utensils,- And he did not desire 
to give them as an inheritance except to his son ; ^ likewise 
with the Holy One, blessed be He. The day of blessing and 
holiness ^ which was before Him, He did not desire to give 
it as an inheritance except to Israel.^ Know that it is so ! 
Come and see ! for when the Israelites went forth from 
Egypt, ^ whilst yet the Torah had not been given to them. 
He gave them the Sabbath as an inheritance. Israel kept 
two Sabbaths ' whilst as yet the Torah had not been given 
to them, as it is said, " And thou madest known unto them 
thy holy Sabbath " ^ (Neh. ix. 14). And afterwards He 
gave them the Torah, as it is said, " And commandedst 
them commandments, and statutes, and Torah by the hand 
of Moses, thy servant " (ibid.).^ 

The Holy One, blessed be He, observed and sanctified the 

' This is the Sabbath day, concerning which " day and 
night " are not mentioned in the Creation story. See infra, 
p. 14.:;. 

2 Cf. Aboth iii. 2^ with reference to the Torah. 

' Cf. Mai. iii. 17. The first editions add : " who serves him." God 
and His children are referred to by the parable. Every nation is a child 
of God, Israel is the son who serves Him. See infra, p. 319, and 
Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. p. 201b, where this Haggadah is used, and as 
a parallel see Jubilees ii. 20. 

* In Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., "blessing and holiness" occur 
instead of " rest and holiness," of the first editions, based on the words 
of the Scripture, " He blessed and hallowed " (ct. Ex. xx. 11). 

» Cf. Jubilees ii. 18 f. 

* According to the Midrash (cf. Book ol Jashar Ixx. 47), the 
Sabbath had been given to Israel in Egypt, but not by God. See T.B. 
Kiddushin, 41b. 

' See Tosaphoth in T.B. Sabbath, 87b, catchword " Just as." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here, in the first editions it is con- 
tinued without any interruption. 

' This text mentions the Sabbath before the " Commandments, 
statutes, and Torah." The Sabbath law is mentioned in Exodus 
xvi. 23, in connection with the Manna prior to the revelation at 
Sinai. 



138 RABBI ELIEZER 

Sabbath, 1 and Israel is obliged ^ only to observe and sanctify 
the Sabbath. Know that it is so ! Come and see ! for 
when He gave them the ^lanna, He gave it to them in the 
wilderness during forty years on the six days of creation,^ 
but on the Sabbath lie did not give (it) || to them. Wilt thou 
say that He did not have power enough to give it to them 
every day ? * But (the fact was) the Sabbath was before 
Him ; therefore He gave to them bread for two days on 
the Friday, as it is said, " See, for that the Lord hath 
given you the Sabbath,'' therefore he giveth you on the 
sixth day the bread of two days " (Ex. xvi. 29). When 
the people ® saw^ that Sabbath (was observed) before Him, 
they also rested, as it is said, " So the people rested on the 
seventh day " {ibid. 30). 

" And God blessed the seventh day," and hallowed it " 
(Gen. ii. 3). The Holy One, blessed be He, blessed and hallowed 
the Sabbath day, and Israel is bound only to keep and to 
hallow the Sabbath day.^ Hence they^ said: Whosoever says 
the benediction and sanctification over the ^vine on the eves 
of Sabbath,^" his days^^ will be increased in this world, and ^^ 
in the world to come, as it is said, " For by me thy days shall 
be multiplied" (Prov. ix. 11) in this world ; " and the years 
of thy life shall be increased " (ibid.) in the world to come. 

" Ye shall keep the Sabbath,^^ for it is holy unto you " 

' See Jubilees ii. i8.' 

' See Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. p. 201b. 

' Sunday to Friday, the days of work. 

* See Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., which reads, "Lest thou shouldst 
say that He had no power to give. He continued to give it (after the 
Sabbath)." Another reading is given in Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii., loc. cit. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here, but " etc. " is added ; in the 
first editions the verse is continued. 

* The first editions read " Israel." 

' In the MS. the quotation ends here, but " etc." is added ; the 
first editions continue the quotation as in our version. 

* See Gen. Rab. xi. 2, and Mekhilta, p. 50b; and see supra, p. 137, 
and infra, p. 141. 

• The Sages. 

1" Friday evenings. See Jubilees ii. 21. 

•1 The first editions add : " and years." 

'2 Variant readings are given in Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., and 
Rokeach, 52. The first editions add here: "And years of life will be given 
to him." As we shall see, the phraseology of this reading is borrowed 
from Prov. ix. 11, according to the interpretation given in T.B. Synhe- 
drin, 38a, and Lev. Rab. xi. i. 

" In the MS. the quotation ends here, but the first editions continue 
the verse. 



THE SABBATH 139 

(Ex. xxxi. 14). What is the keeping of the Sabbath ? 
Neither to do any work thereon,^ nor to kindle fire thereon, 
neither to take forth nor to bring in beyond the Techum 
(hmit) 2 of the Sabbath even one foot,^ nor to fetch in his 
hand something * which is not his food nor the food for his 
cattle.^ This is the keeping of the Sabbath,^ as it is said, 
" Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath " 
{ibid. 16). 

" It' is a sign between me and the children of Israel ^ 
for ever " {ibid. 17). The Holy One, blessed be He, said : 
This (Sabbath) have I given to Israel ^ as a sign between Me || 
and them ; for in the six days of creation I fashioned all 
the world, and on the Sabbath I rested, therefore have I 
given to Israel the six days of work, and on the Sabbath, a 
day^° (for) blessing and sanctification,^i for Me and for 
them ; therefore it is said, " Between me and the children 
of Israel it is a sign for ever " {ibid.).^^ 

^ The first editions reverse the order of the clauses, " Not to kindle 
fire thereon, nor to do any work thereon." The order in our MS. is based 
on the sequence of the texts dealing with the Sabbath commandments 
in Ex. xxxi. 14. To kindle fire is prohibited in Ex. xxxv. 3, and in the 
previous verse the prohibition to work is set forth ; see Luria's com- 
mentary, in loc, where the reading of our MS. had been anticipated. 

^ The 2000 spaces or ells from the town, called a Sabbath-journey ; 
see Acts i. 12, Jubilees 1. 8, and Zadokite Documents xiii. 7. See 
Tosephta Sotah v. 13, p. 303. for a discussion as to whether the Techum 
principle is contained in the Torah, and cf. J .E. x. 592. 

' See T.B. 'Erubin, 52b. 

* Anything not permitted to be used on the Sabbath is called 
" Mukzeh." 

^ The first editions read after the word " something " : " and 
carry it four spaces in a public thoroughfare, and to bring it from one 
allotment to another." See J.E. x. 582 on the " four ells " or spaces. 
" Reshuth," territory, domain, allotment, one's area or court. See 
Baba Kamma iii. i for the different terms in connection with Reshuth ; 
see also T.B. Sabbath, 6a, and cf. Jubilees ii. 29 and 1. 8, Zadokite 
Documents xiii. 16. The first editions omit the words : " which is not 
his food, nor the food for his cattle." 

* Trafiicking on the Sabbath was a cause of reproach on the part 
of Jeremiah (xvii. 20 tf.) and Nehemiah (xiii. ijff-)- ^^^ ^^^^ °^ ^^^^ 
sentence is wanting in the first editions. 

' The Sabbath. 

' The quotation is concluded here in the MS. ; the first editions con- 
tinue as in our version. 

' " It is a sign " is added here by Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii., loc. cit. 

^^ The first editions read : " and the seventh day (for) blessing," etc. 

^^ The first editions add : " and rest." Scripture speaks of God 
blessing and sanctifying the seventh day (Gen. ii. 3), and resting on 
the Sabbath (Ex. xx. 11), "Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath 
day and hallowed it " {ihid.). See supra, p. 137, note 4. 

12 The first editions omit : " it is a sign for ever." 



140 RABBI ELIEZER 

The Holy One, blessed be He, created seven ^ firmaments, 
and He selected from them all 'Araboth - only for the place 
of the throne of glory of His kingdom, as it is said, " Cast 
up a highway for him that rideth on the 'Araboth,'* with 
Jah, his name " (Ps. Ixviii. 4). The Holy One, blessed be He, 
created seven lands,^ and He chose from all of them the 
land of Israel only, as it is said, " A land . . . the eyes 
of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning 
of the year even unto the end of the year " (Deut. xi. 12). -^ 
Another verse says, " I said, I shall not see the Lord, even 
the Lord in the land of the living" (Isa. xxxviii. ll).*' The 
Holy One, blessed be He, created seven deserts, and of 
them all He chose the desert of Sinai ^ only to give therein 
the Torah, as it is said, " The mountain which God hath 
desired for his abode " (Ps. Ixviii. 16). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, created seven seas,^ and of 

' The Sephcr Jezira'i iv. emphasizes the superior nature of the 
seventh kind of the various works of Creation ; see also Lev. Rab. xxix. 
II ; Num. Rab. iii. 8; Jalkut, Psalms (Ps. cxxxix.), § 888. 

2 See T.B. Chagigah, 12b. 'Araboth is the seventh heaven. See also 
Hekhaloth iv. and also Maimonides, Guide, i. 70, who quotes our t xt. 
The New Testament speaks of the " third heaven " (2 Cor. xii. 2). 
See the Apocalype of I'eter on this theme. On the seven heavens 
see Slavonic Enoch, pp. xxx ff. 

^ R.V. has " deserts." The quotation ends here in our MS., the 
printed texts continue the same. 

* They are enumerated in Lev. Rab., Iol. tit., cf. Aboth de R. 
Nathan (a) xxxvii. p. 5,sb (n. 10) ; see also Midrash, Proverbs viii., where 
ten lands are mentioned. Israel passed through seven lands after leaving 
Egypt to enter the Holy Land. The lands are : Edom, Amnion, Moab, 
Midian, the land of the Amorites, Bashan, and the Holy Land, 
which is the seventh land. See also Siphre, Deut. § .1 •, and infra, 
p. 167. 

* See also Mai. iii. 12, and for the reading of the text see Kaphtor 
Va-Pherach x. The latter part of the quotation is wanting in the 
first editions. The first editions add the following: "The Holy One, 
blessed be He, created seven mountains, ^ and he chose only Mount Sinai 
from all of them, as it is said, ' Why look ye askance, ye high moun- 
tains, at the mountain^ which God hath desired for his abode} '" (Ps. 
Ixviii. 16). 

' This quotation is missing in the printed texts of our book. 

^ The first editions read " Kadesh." The order of the paragraphs 
here in the MS. does not agree with that of the printed editions. In 
Jalkut, Ps. Ixviii. § -q(>, the wilderness of Sinai is the "chosen " one ; 
this is another name of the wilderness of Kadesh. See T.B. Sabbath, 89a. 

* See T.B. Baba Bathra, 74b, and Shocher Tob, Ps. xxiv. 6, p. 
103a, notes 23 and 24, which refer to the seven seas in Palestine. 

1 See T.B. Megillah, 29a, and infra, p. 318. See also Eth. Enoch 
xxxii. I. 

* This is interpreted as Sinai ; see Shocher Tob, in he. p. i5yb. 



THE SABBATH 141 

them all He chose the Sea of Kinnereth ^ only, and gave 
it as an inheritance to the tribe of Naphtali,^ as it is said, 
" O Naphtali, satisfied with favour,^ and full with the blessing 
of the Lord : ^ possess thou the sea and the south " (Deut. 
xxxiii. 23). What is the " blessing of the Lord " ? (It 
means) that He blessed him and gave him as an inheritance 
the sea and the south, as it is said, " Possess thou the sea and 
the south " (ibid.).^ 

The Holy One, blessed be He, created seven aeons, || and 
of them all He chose the seventh aeon ^ only ; the six aeons are 
for the going in and coming out (of God's creatures) for 
war and peace. The seventh aeon is entirely Sabbath and 
rest in the life everlasting." Seven lamps were made for the 
sanctuary, and the lamp of Sabbath was illuminating opposite 
the other six (lamps), as it is said, " In front of the lamp- 
stand the seven lamps shall give light " (Num. viii. 2).^ The 
Holy One, blessed be He, created seven days, and of them 
all He chose the seventh day only, as it is said, " And 
God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it " (Gen. ii. 3).^ 

Everyone ^° who keeps the Sabbath, happy is he in this 
world and happy will he be in the world to come,^^ as it 
is said, " Happy is the man that doeth this, and the son of 
man that holdeth fast by it : who keepeth the Sabbath from 

* i.e. the Lake or Sea of Gennesareth. 

^ The pre-eminence of Naphtali was due to the fact that the east 
side of his territory touched the Sea of Gennesareth and the west side 
was on the Mediterranean. 

^ i.e. God's favour; see Shocher Tob, Ps. Ixviii. p. iGob. 

* The quotation ends here in our MS., in the first editions the verse 
is continued. 

^ This sentence is not in the printed editions. 

* The aeon was a period of looo years. On the Millennium see 
Slav. Enoch xxxii. 2-xxxiii. 2, where the eighth day is the day 
of rest. 

' See supra, p. 126, note 10, and cf. Tanna de be Ehjahu Rab. ii. 
p. 6, and Jalkut, Ps. cxxxix. S; 888. 

* This sentence is not in the printed editions. 

* The printed editions add here : " The Holy One, blessed be He, 
created seven years, and of them all He chose the year of release only. 
The year of release is every seventh year." See Jalkut, Ps. cxxxix. § 888, 
and Lev. Rab., loc. cit. 

'" According to T.B. Sabbath, 11 8b, even idolaters will be forgiven ; 
see infra, p. i|6. The first editions read: "Everyone who keeps 
the Sabbath in this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, will forgive 
all his sins." 

*^ Cf. Jubilees ii. 2. 8 : " Everj'one who observes it and keeps 
Sabbath thereon from all his work will be holy and blessed throughout 
all days." 



142 RABBI ELIEZER 

profaning it " (Isa, Ivi. 2). Do not read " (He who keepeth 
the Sabbath)/row profaning^ it," but read " He who keepeth 
the Sabbath is pardoned " - concerning all his transgression.^ 

* Mechallelo (from profaning it). 

^ Machnl Id (it is forgiven him). This is a play on the word of the 
text of Isa. Ivi. 2. See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxvi. p. 1 ^}. 

^ The printed texts read : "to teach (us) that all his transgressions 
are forgiven him." The section on the Sabbath in Jubilees ii. 17 ff. 
and 1. 6 ff. should be compared with the regulations as to the Sabbath 
in our book. There are some striking resemblances as well as con- 
siderable points of dissimilarity. Jubilees (ii. 23, 24) connects the 
Sabbath with Jacob. Our book refers this institution to Adam ; see 
previous chapter, and In trod net ion. _ 



CHAPTER XX 

adam's penitence [24a. i.] 

" So he drove out the man " (Gen. iii. 24). Driving out 
{i.e.) and he went forth outside the garden of Eden (and 
he abode) ^ on Mount Moriah, for the gate of the garden of 
Eden is nigh unto Mount Moriah.^ Thence He took him 
and thither He made him return to the place whence he 
was taken, as it is said, " To till the ground from whence 
he was taken " {ibid. 23).^ 

Rabbi Jehudah said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
kept the Sabbath * first in the heavenly regions, and Adam 
kept the || Sabbath first in the lower regions. The Sabbath 
day protected him from all evil, and comforted^ him on 

^ The MS. does not read : " and he abode." This is the reading of 
the first editions. Jalkut, Gen. § 34 (end), adds : "outside the garden of 
Eden." The new abode of Adam was near the garden of Eden. The 
Midrash appears to understand, Gen. iii. 24, thus : " So he drove out 
the man and he dwelt at the east of the garden of Eden." This Haggadic 
interpretation already appears in the LXX. 

2 See T.B. 'Erubin, 19a. Beth-Shan is described as the door to 
Palestine; see J.Q.R. v. p. 14S, where Origen's Midrash about the 
garden of Eden being the centre of the world is quoted. As to where 
the garden of Eden was believed to be, see Delitzsch, Wo lag das 
Paradies, pp. 45 ff. 

* Instead of this quotation the first editions cite Gen. ii. 15 : " And 
the Lord God took the man," and then they add : " From what place 
did He take him ? From the place of the Temple, as it is said : ' To 
till the ground from whence he was taken ' " (Gen. iii. 23). ^ 

* " In the heavens " is also added by Shocher Tob, p. 203a, but 
it is wanting in the first editions of our book; see supra, pp. 125 f. 
The idea of Sabbath being observed in heaven occurs in Jubilees ii. 
18 ; see previous chapter in our book, p. 138. 

* See supra, pp. 125 f. 

^ Shocher Tob, Ps. xcii. p. 203a, reads : " From the place of the 
Sanctuary and thence He restored him to the place whence he 
was taken, as it is said, ' To till the ground from whence he 
was taken ' " (Gen. iii. 23). j See also Pal. Targ. Gen. ii. 7, and 
supra, p. 84. 

»43 



144 RABBI ELIEZER 

account of all the doubts of his heart, as it is said, " In the 
multitude of my doubts within me, thy comforts delight my 
soul " (Ps. xciv. 19). 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : From the tree under 
which they hid themselves,^ they took leaves and sewed 
(them), as it is said, " And they sewed fif? leaves together,^ 
and made themselves aprons" (Gen. iii. 7). Rabbi Eliezer 
said : From the skin ^ which the serpent sloughed off, the 
Holy One, blessed be He, took * and made coats of glory ^ 
for Adam and his wife, as it is said, " And the Lord God 
made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed 
them " {ibid. 21). 

At twilight on Saturday ^ (evening), Adam was ^ medi- 
tating in his heart and saying : ^ Perhaps the serpent, which 
deceived me, will come in the evening,^ and he will bruise 
me in the heel. A pillar of fire was sent to him to give 
illumination about him and to guard him from all evil.^" 
Adam saw the pillar of fire and rejoiced in his heart,^^ and 
he put forth his hands ^^ to the light of the fire, and said : 
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, 
who creates the flames of fire.^^ And when he removed 

' See the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. xxxvi. 

* The MSS. and the first editions conclude the quotation here. 

* So also according to Pal. Targ. Gen. iii. 21 ; and cf. supra, p. 09. 

* The first editions omit " took." 

* In the Torah scroll of Rabbi Meir the reading was " coats of light " ; 
see Gen. Rab. xx. 12 and Epstein in Monatsschrift. 18S4. pp. Ji43 fif. 
Cf. supra, p. 98, for the skin of nail, as the covering of glory of the 
first man. 

^ Luria holds that this section is out of place. It should be inserted 
in the previous chapter at the point where the Blessing of the Sabbath 
occurs. See T.J. Berakhoth viii. (>, 12b, on the day of 36 hours, 
during which the light of tlie first Sabbath lasted ; and cf . Shocher Tob, 
p. 202b. 

' The first editions read : " sitting and meditating." 

* The first editions read : " Woe is me, perhaps the serpent which 
deceived me on the eve of the Sabbath will come and bruise me in the 
heel." 

" Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads : " deceived me on the eve (before) the 
termination of the Sabbath " will come. 

^° See Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. xxix., and T.B. ' Abodah 
Zarah, 8a. 

11 The first editions add : " and he said : Now I know that the 
Omnipresent is with me." 

>« Oxford MS. (e. 16) reads : " hand." 

*' See Singer, p. 216 ; and see T.B. Berakhoth, 52b ; T.B. Pesachim, 
53b; T.J. Berakhoth viii. 7. 12c; Gen. Rab. xii. i-; and cf. Shocher 
Tob. p. 203a. 



ADAM'S PENITENCE 145 

his hands * from the Hght of the fire,^ he said : Now I know 
that the holy day has been separated from the work day 
here below (on earth), for fire may not be kindled on the 
Sabbath day ; and in that hour he said : Blessed art Thou, 
O Lord our God, King of the universe, who divides || the 
holy from the profane,^ the light from the darkness. 

Rabbi Mana said : How must * a man say the Hab- 
dalah blessing ? (He does this) over the cup of wine, 
with the light of fire,^ and he says : Blessed art Thou, O 
Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the various 
flames of fire ; and when he removes his hand from the fire 
(flame) he says : Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who divides 
the holy from the profane. 

If he have no wine he puts forth his hands ^ towards the 
light of the lamp and looks at his nails,' which are whiter 
than his body, and he says : Blessed art Thou, O Lord our 
God, King of the universe, who creates various flames of fire ; 
and when he has removed his hands ^ from the fire, he says : 

1 Oxford MS. (e. i6) reads: " hand." 

2 Oxford MS. (e. i6) and the first editions read : " from the fire " ; 
has our MS. an incorrect reading here ? 

* See supra, pp. ij6, 138; and cf. Sepher Ha-Manhig, Hilkhoth 
Shabbath, § 67. The next words are not in the first editions. 

^ Lit. "is he obhged." Siddur Rab 'Amram, 59b, reads: "How- 
is a man obUged (to perform Habdalah) with the cup of wine ? He 
brings his hand near to the light of the fire." See also Ravia, ed. 
Aptowitzer, p. 131, and Or Zarua, ii. 2^6., § 93. Both hands are to be 
stretched forth to the light according to our author and the authorities 
quoted (see Sha'are Teshubah, § 102, and Shibbole Ha-Leket (52b), 
§ 130). See Siddur R. 'Amram, 59a, for the expression to " look at the 
palms"; cf . Ha-Manhig, § 65, p. 34a. This was the custom of R. Natronai. 
The Mishnah Berakhoth viii. 6 deals with the necessity of enjoying the 
light in order to say the blessing over same ; see T.B. Berakhoth, 53b. 
According to our book the custom of looking at the nails is only to 
be observed when there is no wine. The Pirke de R. Eliezer seems to 
have the same custom here and in reference to rinsing the cup mentioned 
infra, p. 146, note 7, as obtained in Sura, and these customs were known 
to R. Natronai. 

^ The light will enable him to see the wine in the cup, and then 
he need not look at his nails, nor put forth his hands to the light ; 
for he has already derived some benefit from the light. If he have 
no wine, he looks at his nails. On the customs of the Habdalah 
see T.B. Berakhoth, 33b and 52b, and T.B. Sabbath, 150b, and J.E. vi. 
pp. 118 ff. 

* This is according to the reading in our MS. The plural occurs 
also in Oxford MS. (e. 76) and the second edition. 

' See Sepher Ha-Orah, i. pp. 57 f., notes 13 and 14, and Machzor 
Vitry, 117 f. 

* The 2nd ed. reads : " hand." This section is wanting in the 
ist ed. 

10 



146 RABBI ELIEZER 

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who divides the holy from the 
profane. 

If he be on a journey,^ he puts forth his hand - to the 
light of the stars, which are also fire,^ and says : Blessed 
art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates 
the various flames of fire. If the heavens be darkened,* 
he lifts up a stone outside,^ and says : ^ Blessed art Thou, 
O Lord our God, who creates the various flames of fire." 

Rabbi Zadok said : Whosoever does not make Habdalah ^ 
at the termination of Sabbaths, or does not listen to those 
who perform the ceremony of Habdalah, will never see a 
sign '^ of blessing.^" Everyone who makes Habdalah at 
the termination of Sabbaths, or whosoever hears those who 
perform the Habdalah, the Holy One, blessed be He, calls 

* The first editions read : " If he have no fire." 
- Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads : " hands." 

* The first editions add : " and he looks at his nails which are 
whiter than his body." 

* Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads : " darkened with clouds." 

* Oxford MS. (e. 7b) and the first editions read : " from the earth," 
and he obtains a spark by striking the two stones together. 

* See Friedlander, The Jewish Religion, pp. 254, 340, and 343, for 
the rules of the rite. The ist ed. reads : " and he performs the 
Habdalah." This is also the reading of the Venice edition, which 
adds : " and he says : Blessed (is He) who separates the holy from 
the profane." 

' The ritual here set forth is not on all fours with the rules 
prescribed by the Shulchan 'Arukh. Spices are not mentioned at all. 
We should not say the benediction over the light when the light of 
the stars is the only light available ; see T.B. Berakhoth, 52b, and Tur, 
Orach Chayyim, 296 and 297. The following section occurs in the 
MS. Ga--tcr and in the 2nd cd. : " Rabbi Eliezer said : After a 
man has drunk the (contents) of the cup of Habdalah, it is a religious 
privilege and duty to put a little water in the cup (of wine used at the 
Habdalah), and to drink in order to show that the precepts are beloved,^ 
and what remains of the water in the cup should be put over his eyes. 
Why ? Because the Wise Men have said : The (observance of the) 
'remnants' left over in connection with a religious act keeps back 
punishments." 

* The Oxford MS. (e. 76) and the first editions add : "over wine." 

' See supra, p. 13S. On the Habdalah see Elbogen, op. cit. pp. 
120, 532. 

1° SeeT.B.'Erubin, 65a, T.B. Shebu'oth, i8b, and Jalkut, Gen. § 34, 
and cf. Siddnr Rab 'Amram, § 40, p. 60a, b. A variant reading is to be 
found in Tur, Orach Chayyim, 299. 



^ A similar custom still obtains in the Church of England. After 
the rite of Communion has been done, the officiating minister pours 
water into the chalice, and then drinks the water to prevent the waste 
of any drops of the consecrated wine. The custom mentioned by our 
text is referred to by the Geonim ; see Siddur Rab Amram, pp. 
59a ff., on the Habdalah. 



ADAM'S PENITENCE 147 

him holy to be His holy treasure, and delivers him 
from the affliction of the peoples, as it is said, " And 
ye shall be holy unto me : for I the Lord am holy " (Lev. 
XX. 26).i II 

On the first day of the week ^ he ^ went into the waters 
of the upper Gihon ^ until the waters reached up to his 
neck, and he fasted seven weeks of days,^ until his body 
became like a species of seaweed.*' Adam said before the 
Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign of all worlds ! Remove, 
I pray Thee, my sins from me and accept my repentance, 
and all the generations will learn that repentance is a 
reality.' What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? 
He put forth His right hand,^ and accepted his repentance,^ 
and took away from him his sin, as it is said, " I acknow- 
ledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid : i" 
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord ; and 
thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin, Selah " (Ps. xxxii. 5). 
Selah^i in this world and Selah in the world to come. 
Adam returned i- and meditated in his heart, and said : I 

1 In the first editions the latter part of this paragraph reads : 
" Everyone who listens to those who perform the Habdalah or whoso- 
ever makes the Habdalah over the wine, the Holy One, blessed be He, 
acquires him as a treasure, as it is said : ' I have separated you from 
the peoples, that ye should be mine ' " (Lev. xx. 26). The Venice 
edition adds : " And ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me " (Ex. 
xix. 5). This last reading agrees with Oxford MS. (e. 76), which omits 
the quotation from Lev. (xx. 26). 

- Sunday. On the incident see Israel Levi's article in R£.J . xviii. 
pp. 86 ff., where it is suggested that our author has used the Arabic, 
Ethiopic, or the Latin version of the Book of Adam and Eve xxxii. - 
xxxiv. 

' The first editions read : " Adam." See Introduction, p. xlvii. 

* i.e. the pool of Siloam ; cf . 2 Chron. xxxii. 30. See Coptic 
Apocrypha, p. 245, and cf. Ginzberg, Die Haggada, etc., p. 52. 

* i.e. forty-nine days. According to T.B. 'Krubin, i8b, Adam fasted 
130 years ; see also ?ohar. Gen. 55a, and T.B. 'Abodah Zarah, 8a. 

* The first editions read : " like a sieve." Our MS. agrees here with 
the Oxford MS. (e. 76) ; see Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. 

' The first editions add : " and that Thou dost accept the repentance 
of the penitent." 

^ This expression is peculiar to our book ; it occurs several times, 
cf. the legend in the Book of Adam and Eve, in A. and P. ii. 
P- 135- 

* On Adam's repentance see Tertullian, Against Marcion, ii. 25. 

1" The quotation ends here in the MSS. and in the first editions. 

" The last word of the previous verse is Selah, and the verse quoted 
concludes with Selah. The word is used in the sense of " so be it," 
or perhaps it suggests " pardon " (Selach). 

12 The Oxford MSS. and the printed texts read : " sat." 



148 RABBI ELIEZER 

know that death will remove me ^ (to) " the house appointed 
for all living " (Job xxx. 23). Adam said : Whilst I am yet 
alive -' I will ^ build for myself a mausoleum to rest therein.^ 
He planned ^ and built for himself a mausoleum to rest 
therein beyond^ Mount Moriah. Adam said: If in the 
case of the tables (of stone), just because in the future they 
will be written by the finger (of God), the waters of the 
Jordan are destined to flee before them ; ' how much more 
so will this be the case with my body which His two hands ^ 
kneaded, and because He breathed into my nostrils the 
breath of the spirit of His mouth ? After my death they 
will come and take my bones, and they will make them into 
an image for idolatry ; ^ but verily I will put || my coffin 
deep down beneath the cave and within the cave.^^ There- 
fore it is called the Cave of Machpelah, which is a double 
cave.i^ There Adam was put and his help-meet,^^ Abraham 
and his help-meet, Isaac and his help-meet, Jacob and his 
help-meet. Therefore it is called " the city of four " 

* The first editions read : "he said : For I have said, ' thou wilt 
bring me to death and to the house,' etc." The text of Job xxx. 23 
reads : " For I know thou wilt bring," etc. The Oxford MS. (e. 76) 
reads : " I know that thou wit bring me to death," etc. 

^ The first editions read : " yet in the world." 

^ See the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) 11. ix. for the death 
and burial of Adam. 

* The first editions add here : " beyond Mount Moriah." 

^ The first editions read : " He dug out " ; so also in Oxford MSS. 
" Luria reads : " he went beyond Mount Moriah and dug," etc. ; see 
Zohar, Gen. 57b, and infra, p. 275. 
' In the days of Joshua. 

* See supra, pp. 76 f. ; and of. T.B. Ketliuboth, 5a, and Aboth 
de R. Nathan («) i. p. 4b. This legend was known lo the Church 
Fathers; sec Theophilus, I'o Autolycus, ii. 18. 

' Here Adam seems to exercise prophetic powers. This agrees with 
the legend in the Recognitions of Clement, i. 47. Is our author attacking 
the worship of relics ? 

1° Owing to the power inherent in his divinely shaped and fashioned 
body, the waters of the Flood would have no power to destroy his 
remains ; see T.B. Baba Bathra, 58a, Gen. Rab. xxviii. ;i. The Book of 
Jashar iii. 14 refers to the burial of Adam in the " cave." In the Book 
of Jubilees viii. 19 the Garden of Eden is facing Mount Zion, i.e. Mount 
Moriah. The three things, according to Jubilees vii. 20, which brought 
the Flood were, " fornication, uncleanness, and all iniquity." Cf. 
T.B. Synhedrin, 74a, for the three cardinal sins, idolatry, immorality, 
and murder. For a parallel text with slight variations see Midrash 
Haggadol, c. 122. 

'1 See T.B. 'Erubin, 53a, and Jalkut. Gen., loc. cit. The legend of 
the double cave was known to Jerome ; sec Rahmcr, op. cit. p. 36. 

*' On the order of the burials see T.J. Ta'anith iv. 2, 68a; ?ohar. 
Num. 164a. 



ADAM'S PENITENCE 149 

(Kirjath Arba') ; for four pairs (were buried there),^ and 
concerning them the verse says, " He entereth into peace ; 
they rest in their beds,^ each one that walketh in his up- 
rightness " (Isa. Ivii. 2).^ 

* These words in brackets occur in the Oxford MS. (e. 76). Hip- 
polytns {A.N.C.L. vi. p. 491) mentions eight people buried in the cave. 
This is another form of the legend of the " four pairs " mentioned in 
our text. 

2 In the MS. and the Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit., the quotation ends 
here ; in the first editions it is continued. 

^ See T.B. Kethuboth, 104a. In the first editions instead of help- 
meet the names are given, namely, Eve, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah. 



CHAPTER XXI 

CAIN AND ABEL [25a. i.] 

" But ^ of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the 
garden " (Gen. iii. 3). It was taught in a Baraitha,^ Rabbi 
Ze'era said : " Of the fruit of the tree "—here " tree " only 
means man, who is compared to the tree, as it is said, " For 
man is the tree of the field " (Deut. xx. 19). " Which is in 
the midst of the garden " — " in the midst of the garden " 
is here merely an euphemism.^ " \Miich is in the midst of 
the garden "—for " garden " means here merely woman, 
who is compared to a garden, as it is said, " A garden shut 
up is my sister, a bride " (Cant. iv. 12). Just as with this 
garden whatever is sown therein, it produces and brings 
forth, so (with) this woman, what seed she receives, she 
conceives and bears ^ through sexual intercourse. 

(Sammael) riding on the serpent came to her, and she 
conceived ; ^ afterwards Adam came to her, and she conceived 

1 The first editions begin the chapter with the expression : " It is 
written." Our MS. agrees with the Oxford M>S. here. 

* " A tannaite tradition not incorporated in the Mishnah," ?ee J .E. 
ii. 513. The use of the term 'jn (it was taught in a Baraitha) 
in connection with a statement by Rabbi Zt'era (4th cent. c.E.) is 
incongruous. 

* The first editions read here : " Just as ' in the middle of the body ' 
(has its imphcation, Ukewise), ' in the midst of the garden' refers to 
that which is in the middle of the woman, because ' garden ' means 
woman," etc. 

* The first editions read "from her husband." This allegorical 
interpretation of the Paradise narrative is exceptionally bold. The 
Zohar, Gen. 35b, offers a parallel, having used our book as its original ; 
see also Nachmanides, Torath Ha-Adam, 102b. The texts (Isa. Ixi. 
3, Ix. 21, and xvii. ii) quoted by the Zohar in loc. cit. afford the 
scriptural basis for the interpretation in question. 

^ The first editions add " Cain." See Jalkut, Gfn. fj 29 and j 3.5, and 
Zohar, loc. cit., for the reading : " Satan riding on the serpent." See Pal. 
Targ. Gen. iv. i, which has used our author. This Haggadah occurs also 
in the Church Father Ephraim (in Gen. vol. i. p. 35) ; he says that the 

150 



CAIN AND ABEL 151 

Abel,^ as it is said, " And Adam knew Eve his wife " (Gen. 
iv. 1). What is the meaning of " knew " ? (He knew) 
that she had conceived. ^ And she saw his ^ likeness that 
it was not of the earthly beings, but of the heavenly beings, 
and she prophesied ^ || and said : " I have gotten a man with 
the Lord " {ihid.).^ 

serpent was made to crawl on its belly "for having increased the pangs of 
child-bearing, through the seduction of Eve " ; set- also SLivonic Enoch 
xxxi. 6. The legend was most probably known to Paul, who refers to 
the " serpent " as having " b ?guiled Eve in his craftiness " ; see 2 Cor. 
xi. 2. 3, and cf. i Tim. ii. 14, 15; and Protevangelium of James, 13 
(A.N.C.L. xvi. p. 8), and cf. 4 Mace, xviii. 8. 

^ This agrees witli Luria's emendation, based on the Jalkut, Gen. 
§ 35, and Zohar, loc. cit. ; see supra, p. yS. 

2 Some of the Haggadic details of this chapter appear in Josephus, 
Ant. i. 1.4. For the reading of the text here see Jalkut, loc. cit. 

^ Cain's. The Pal. Targum, Gen. iv. i, reads: " And Adam knew 
Eve his wife, who was pregnant by the angel Sammael, and she con- 
ceived and bare Cain ; and he was like the heavenly beings, and not 
like the earthly beings, and she said, I have acquired a man, the angel 
of the Lord." Cf. infra, pp. 158 f., and see Zohar, in loc, and Jalkut, 
Gen. § 35. See also Vita Adae et Evai xxi. 3, in A. and P. ii. 
p. 138. 

* The Jalkut, loc. cit., reads: " she understood." 

* The Oxford MS. (e. 76) and the first editions insert here the follow- 
ing : " Rabbi Ishmael said : From Seth ^ arose and were descended all 
the generations of the righteous, and from Cain arose and were descended 
all the generations of the wicked, who rebelled and sinned against 
Heaven, and said. We do not need the drops of Thy rains, as it is 
said, ' Yet they said unto God, Depart from us ' " (Job xxi. 14).- 

1 Read Mesheth, " from Seth," instead of Meshom, " thence." See 
next chapter for a repetition of this section. The Midrashic interpreta- 
tion seems to have been known to Philo, who speaks of Cain as the type 
"of folly and impiety" [De Cherub, xx.). See Heb. xi. 4; i John iii. 
12 ; Jude 1 1 . On the Cainites see Epiphanius, adv. HcBr. i. 3. 38, i. 7. 5 ; 
and irenaeus, adv. Heer. i. xxxi. 1. In Ecclus. xlix. 16, Seth is compared 
with Shem as " glorified among men." Josephus, Ant. i. 2. i ff., 
described Abel as " a lover of righteousness " . . . " but Cain was 
not only very wicked . . . and it came to pass that the posterity of 
Cain became exceeding wicked. . . . Seth became a virtuous man, and 
as he was himself of an excellent character so did he leave behind him 
(children; who imitated his virtues. All these proved to be of good dis- 
positions." Cain is " a son of wrath," according to the Apoc. Mosis 3. 
See also the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Alalan) i. Ixxix. and the Book 
of Jubilees iv. 11 ft., xix. 24, on this subject. The Gnostics taught that 
" Cain derived his being from the Power above," says Irenaeus, adv. 
Hcsr., loc. cit. According to the Gnostics, Eve had several sons, 
who were declared to be angels; see Irenaeus, op. cit. i. xxx. 7. On 
Sammael or Michael, as the name of the serpent, see Irenaeus, loc. cit. 9. 
There are several points of contact in this chapter, as well as in the 
preceding chapter, with the doctrines of the Gnostics as set forth in the 
writings of Irenaeus. See also Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 73 if. 

^ The Book of Job was frequently used by the Haggadists in their 
Midrashim on the Book of Genesis. 



152 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi Miasha ^ said : Cain was born, and his wife,- his 
twin-sister,3 with him.^ Rabbi Simeon^ said to him: Has 
it not already been said, " And if a man shall take his 
sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and 
see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness ; it is a shameful 
thing " ? '^ (Lev. xx. 17). From these words know that 
there were no other women whom they could marry, and 
these were permitted to them, as it is said, " For I have 
said. The world shall be built up by love " ' (Ps. Ixxxix. 2). 
With love was the world built up before the Torah had been 
given. ^ Rabbi Joseph ^ said : Cain and Abel were twins,^" 
as it is said, " And she conceived, and bare (with) Cain " 
(Gen. iv. 1). At that hour she had an additional capacity 
for child-bearing (as it is said), " And she continued to bear 
his brother Abel " {ibid. 2).ii 

> Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads " Meir " (2nd cent. c.e.). Miasha lived 
in the 4th cent. c.e. 

* " His wife " does not occur in the first editions. 

^ According to the Book of Adam and Eve (cd. Malan) i. Ixxiv., 
Luluwa was the twin-sister of Cain; see Schatzhohle, p. 34, and also the 
Book of Jashar i. 12. Oiher references are given by Ginzberg, op. cit. 
pp. 60 f . 

* The Oxford MS. (e. 76) and the printed editions add : " Abel was 
bom, and with him his twin-sister." Her name was Aklima (Book of 
Adam and Eve (ed, ?vlalan) i. Ixxv). The first edition differs slightly 
in the order of the words here. 

^ According to the first editions the name is " Ishmael," who hved 
c. 90-135 C.E., and was a contemporary of R. 'Akiba, the teacher of 
R. Meir. R. Simeon (? son of Jochai) was also a disciple of R. 'Akiba. 

* ^D^, love, permissible or shameful ; see Jalkut, Ps. Ixxxix. § 839. 
Our MS. does not give the last few words of the quotation. In the 
first editions the quotation ends with the words : " his father's daughter." 
In the Oxford MS. (e. 76) the quotation ends with the words : " mother's 
daughter." 

' The R.V. renders the passage : " Mere}' shall be built up for ever." 

* R. Ishmael seems to imply that, prior to the giving of the Law 
(Torah), the world's law was based on the impulses of nature and there- 
fore immoral. See the Book of Adam and Eve (cd. Malan) 11. vii., as to 
the marriage of Adam's son Seth. Epiphanius, op. cit. xxxix. 5, refers 
to this subject. 

* The Oxford MS. (e. 76) agrees with our MS., but the first editions 
read " Jose " — R. Jos4i bar Chalaphta was a pupil of R. "Akiba. 

»o See T.B. Synhedrin. 38b ; Aboth d. R. Nathan {a) i. ; Gen. Rab. 
xxii. 2. According to the Book of Jashar, loc. cit., " Eve bore two sons 
and three daughters." According to this book the union of Adam and 
Eve was consummated after the expulsion from Paradise ; see also 
Jalkut, Gen. § 15 and § 35, and T.B. Jebamoth, 62a. Josephus says: 
" Adam and Eve had two sons . . . they had also daughters " {Ant. 
i. 2. i). 

" Our MS. agrees with Oxford MS. (e. 76), and partially with the 
Oxford MS. (OA. 167). The first editions read: "At that hour she 



CAIN AND ABEL 153 

Now Cain was a man who loved the ground in order to 
sow seed ; and Abel was a man who loved to tend the sheep ; 
the one gave of his produce as food for the other, and the 
latter gave of his produce as food for his (brother). The 
evening of the festival of Passover ^ arrived. Adam called 
his sons and said to them : In this (night) in the future 
Israel will bring Paschal offerings, bring ye also (offerings) 
before your Creator. 

(Cain) brought the remnants of his meal of roasted grain, 
(and) the seed of flax,^ and Abel brought of the firstlings of 
his sheep, and of their fat, he-lambs, which had not been 
shorn of their wool.^ The offering of |1 Cain was precluded,* 

was debarred from bearing," as it is said, " And she ceased to bear." 
Here " Asaph " = to cease. Our text agrees with Pal. Targ. Gen. iv. 2 . 
See Gen. Rab. xxii. 3, and cf. the Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) 
I, Ixxv. 

^ Our book lays stress on the Passover in contradistinction to 
Jubilees, which exalts Pentecost and Tabernacles. Luria argues that 
as there was a tradition that the world was created on the ist of Nisan, 
Adam was therefore created on the 6th, and " at the end of days " (Gen. 
iv. 3) means one week, and these numbers equal thirteen, and after this 
day is the 14th, which is the eve of Passover. The offering was brought 
on the 14th, and eaten that day at even, which is the beginning of the 
15th. On the other hand, according to our book, supra, p. 52, the 
creation began on the 25th of Ellul, and Adam was fashioned on the 
1st of Tishri ; " at the end of days " would be interpreted as the change 
in the seasons from autumn to spring, when the first-fruits would be 
brought. Cf. infra, p. 236. Our text is reproduced by Pal. Targ. 
Gen. iv. 3, and Midrash Agadah (ed. Bubcr), Gen. p. 10, and see ibid. 
note 6. 

According to Dr. Biichler {J.Q.R. v. 442), in the first year of the 
triennial cycle of reading the Torah, a Palestinian custom, on the first 
day of Passover, Gen. iii. 22-iv. 26 was read. Now, the story of 
the offering of Cain and Abel occurs in Gen. iv. 3 ff., and would fall 
in the Passover week. This explains our text, " the night of the 
festival of Passover arrived." See J.E. xii. p. 256a, line 6 ; Gen. iii., 
which is quoted there, should probably be Gen. iv. 

Chrysostomus (about 175 c.E.) declared that it was customary to 
begin reading from Genesis during Lent, i.e. Nisan. This shows that 
the Early Church followed the old Jewish custom of commencing the 
reading of the Torah in Nisan, the beginning of the Jewish ecclesi- 
astical new year ; see J.E. ibid. p. 257b. For a parallel reading, with 
slight variants, see Midrash Haggadol, c. 106 f. 

2 In Tanchuma, Bereshith, § ix., we read: "Some sages say. The 
remnants of his meal; other sages say, The seed of flax." See 'Arukh 
(ed. Kohut) iv. p. 229b; and cf. Zohar, Lev. 87a, where flax is men- 
tioned as the offering of Cain. 

3 The offering was the first-fruit of the animal and the first shearing 
of the wool. 

* This is also the reading of Oxford MS. (e. 76). The Oxford MS. 
(O.A. 167) and the first editions read " was abhorred " ; cf. Prov. 
xxviii. g. 



154 RABBI ELIEZER 

and the offering of Abel was acceptable, as it is said, " And 
the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering " {ibid. 4). 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : The Holy One, blessed 
be He, said : Heaven forbid ! Never let the offerings ^ of 
Cain and Abel be mixed up (with one another), even in the 
weaving of a garment, as it is said, " Thou shalt not wear 
a mingled stuff, wool and linen together " (Deut. xxii. 11). 
And even if it be combined ^ let it not come upon thee, as 
it is said. " Neither shall there come upon thee a garment 
of two kinds of stuff mingled together " (Lev. xix. 19). 

Rabbi Zadok said : A great hatred ^ entered Cain's heart 
against his brother Abel, because his offering had been 
accepted.'* Not only (on this account), but also because 
Abel's twin-sister was the most beautiful of women, and he 
desired her in his heart. Moreover he said : I will slay 
Abel my brother, and I will take his twin-sister ^ from him, 
as it is said, " And it came to pass when they were in the 
field " (Gen. iv. 8). 

" In the field " means woman, who is compared to a 
field.^ He took the stone and embedded it in the forehead ''' 

* Wool from Abel's sheep and flax from Cain's ofiEering. The two 
combined would come under the prohibition of Sha'atnez fcl. D lu. xxii. 
II). Perhaps the prohibition of Kilayim (Lev^ xix. 19) is also intended. 
This reference to Adam in connection with Sha'atnez is probably in- 
tentional, and is our author's imitation of Jubilees, which also connects 
various laws v.ith the Patriarchs. See Tanchuma, B reshith, loc. cit., 
for a variant reading, and cf. 'Arukh, loc. cit., s.v. Kilayim, and see 
Maimonides, Guide, iii. 37, and J .E. xi. 212 f. 

* The ist ed. reads " embroidered." This agrees with the Oxford 
MSS. The 2nd ed. reads " decomposed." 

'The Book of Jashar i. i() says: "And Cain was jealous of his 
brother on this account." Josephus, Ant., loc. cit., also agrees with 
this view. The first editions read : " Envy and a great hatred." The 
Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads: " Envy and hatred." Test. XII Pat., Benj. 
vii. 5 : " Because forever those who are like unto Cain in envy and 
hatred of brethren, shall be punished with the same judgment." 

^ This agrees with Jubilees iv. 2; see also Irenseus, adv. Hcsr. iv. 
3 (^.A^C.L. V. p. 433). 

* In Jubilees iv. 1 the wife of Cain is 'Avan, who was born after 
Abel. S-'o Biok of .^(Uim and Five (t-d. Malan) i. Ixxviii. 

* The Oxford MS. (e. 76) adds : " as it is said : ' But if a man find 
the damsel that is betrothed in the field ' " (Deut. xxii. 25). The first 
editions read : " as it is said : ' For man is the tree of the field ' " (Deut. 
XX. 19). Man is the tree, woman is the field. This fine figure has a 
parallel in Euripides, Ort-stes, ';52ff. Compare our expression, 
" Mother Earth." 

' The Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) i. Ixxix. states : " And Cain 
. . . took a large stone and smote his brother with it upon his head." See 
Pal. Targum, Gen. iv. X, which reproduces our text: " he embedded a 



CAIN AND ABEL 155 

of Abel, and slew him, as it is said, " And Cain rose up 
against Abel his brother, and slew him " (ibid.). 

Rabbi Jochanan said : Cain did not know that the 
secrets are revealed before the Holy One, blessed be He.^ 
He took the corpse of his brother Abel and hid it in the 
field.2 The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : " Where 
is Abel thy brother ? " {ibid. 9). He replied to Him : 
Sovereign of the world ! A keeper of vineyard and field 
hast Thou made me.'' A keeper of my brother Thou hast 
not made me ; as it is said, " Am I my brother's keeper ? " 
(ibid.). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : || " Hast 
thou killed, and also taken possession ? " * (1 Kings xxi. 19). 
" The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the 
ground " (Gen. iv. 10). When Cain heard this word ^ he was 
confused. And He cursed him, that he became ^ a wanderer 
on the earth because of the shedding of the blood,' and 
because of the evil death. 

Cain spake before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign 
of all the worlds ! " My sin is too great to be borne " 
{ibid. 13), for it has no atonement.* This utterance was 

stone in his forehead and slew him." The Book of Jashar i. 2^ speaks 
of " the iron part of the ploughing instrument with which he suddenly 
smote his brother." See also Book of the B^e, p. 26. 

^ Jubilees (iv. 6) states, in connection with Cain's crime, that " we 

'announce when we come before the Lord our God, all the sin which is 

committed in heaven and on earth, and in light and in darkness, and 

everywhere. The ist eds., Oxford MS. (e. 76) and Gaster MS. add : 

" What did he do ? " 

^ The Oxford MS. (e. 76) reads : " he dug in the earth and hid (or 
buried) it." The first editions have almost the same reading. Accord- 
ing to our book there was apparently no actual burial by Cain, this 
was done bv Adam and Eve ; see infra in this chapter. See Tanchuma, 
loc. cit., and Jalkut, Gen. § 38. Our Midrash was known to Jerome, 
Ep. ad Dam. 125. See Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan), loc. cit. 
According to the Book of Jashar, loc. cit., " Cain rose up and dug a hole 
in the field, wherein he put the body of his brother, and he turned the 
dust over him." Ginzberg, op. cit. p. 66, note 2, deals with this 
theme ; see also Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 83 f . 

^ Abel's flocks would not be in the fields or vineyards of Cain, and 
therefore, in the ordinary course of events, he would not have known 
the whereabouts of his brother. 

* " Hast thou taken possession" of thy brother? (i.e. his wife and 
his flock). The later editions read : "I have also heard." 

" See T.B. Synhedrin, 37a, b. 

^ The first editions read : " that he should be." 

' Almost a literal quotation from Jubilees iv. 4, surely this must be 
something more than a mere coincidence. 

" Luria suggests that the last words might be read as a question : 
" Is there no atonement for it ? " 



156 KABBI ELIEZER 

reckoned to him as repentance,^ as it is said, " And Cain 
said unto the Lord, My sin is too great to be borne " (ibid.) ; 
further, Cain said before the Holy One, blessed be He : Now 
will a certain righteous one ^ arise on the earth and 
mention Thy great Name against me and slay me.^ What 
did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He took one letter 
from the twenty-two letters,"* and put (it) upon Cain's arm ^ 
that he should not be killed, as it is said, " And the Lord 
appointed a sign for Cain " {ibid. 15). The dog ^ which was 
guarding Abel's flock also guarded ^ his corpse '^ from all 
the beasts of the field and all the fowl of the heavens.^ 
Adam and his helpmate were sitting and weeping and 
mourning ^° for him, and they did not know what to do (with 
Abel), for they were unaccustomed to burial. A raven ^^ 
(came), one of its fellow birds was dead (at its side). (The 
raven) said : I will teach this man what to do. It took its 
fellow and dug in the earth, hid it and buried it before 
them. Adam said : Like this raven will I act. He took || the 
corpse of Abel and dug in the earth and buried it. The 
Holy One, blessed be He, gave a good reward to the ravens 
in this world. What reward did He give them ? When 
they bear their young and see that they are white ^^ they 
fly from them, thinking that they are the offspring of a 
serpent, and the Holy One, blessed be He, gives them their 
sustenance ^^ without lack, as it is said, " Who provideth 

1 Cf. T.B. Synhedrin, loib, and Lev. Rab. x. 5. 

2 See Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit., and Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. cxlvii. ])p- 143a, b. 
^ By mentioning God's name, see J.Q.R. v. p. 409, and cf. infra, 

* The first editions add : " which are in the Torah and wrote (it)." 
See Zohar, Gen. 36b. Most of this chapter has close parallels in the 
Zohar. See also Pal. Targum, in loc. 

^ In Pal. Targum. in loc, "Upon the face of Cain" is the reading. 
The sign of the Tephillin is placed on the forehead and on the left arm. 
See also Ezek. ix. 4, 6, and Othijoth de R. 'Akiba, ch. i. Cf. Rashi on 
Gen. iv. 15, and Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 12. 

* See Job XXX. i. A parallel text occurs in Midrash Haggadol, c. irGf. 
" This contradicts the earlier stor>' of Abel being buried by Cain. 

** Jubilees iv. 7 says : " Adam and his wife mourned for Abel." 

^ See Book of Adam and Eve (od. Malan) 11. i. 

*" For the phraseology see Neh. i. 4. The legend occurs also in the 
Koran, Sura w 

" Tanchuma, loc. cit., reads : " Two clean birds " ; cf. Gen. Rab. xxii. 
8. See Midrash Haggadol, c. 116. 

1- See Jalkut to Job. J? 925 ; cf . T.B. Kethuboth, 49b. 

*' See Tanchuma, 'Ekeb, § li. In the first editions the quotation 
from Job is not given. 



CAIN AND ABEL 157 

for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God, 
and wander for lack of meat " (Job xxxviii. 41). Moreover, 
that rain should be given ^ upon the earth (for their sakes), 
and the Holy One, blessed be He, answers them, as it is 
said, " He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young 
ravens which cry " (Ps. cxlvii. 9).^ 

1 The first editions read : " they cry that rain should be given." 
- The previous verse of the Psalm speaks of rain. See also Jalkut 
Makhiri, in loc, p. 143b. The Midrash Haggadol, c. 117, gives this 
verse as Ps. cxliv. 9. This is a printer's error for Ps. cxlvii. 9. It adds 
Job xxxviii. 41. 



CHAPTER XXII 

THE FALL OF THE ANGELS [26a. i.] 

" And * Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and he 
begat in his own Hkeness after his image " (Gen. v, 3). 
Hcnee thou mayest learn that Cain was not of Adam's 
seed," nor after his likeness, nor after his image.^ (Adam 
did not beget in his own image) '* until Seth was born, who 
was ^ after his father Adam's likeness and image,*^ as it is said, 
"And he begat in his own likeness, after his image " (ibid.). 
Rabbi Simeon ' said : From Seth arose and were de- 
scended ^ all the generations of the righteous.'' From 

1 The first editions read : " It is written : ' And Adam,' " etc. 

-See supra, pp. 150+., for tlie statement that Cain was the off- 
spring of Eve and Sammael. The Scripture text seems to have afforded 
ground lor the distinction which the Rabbi.s and otliers drew between 
Cain and Seth : " And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and 
bare Cain, and she said, I have acquired a man (child) from the Lord " 
(Gen. iv. i). Concerning Abel the Bible states, " And she continued 
to bare his brother Abel" (ibid. 2), without adding any further 
qualification as in the case of Cain. With reference to Seth the text 
says, " And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and he begat in 
his own likeness after his image, and he called his name Seth " (ibid. v. 3). 
The fifth chapter of Genesis begins afresh the history of Adam's off- 
spring, but omits all reference to Cain, who.se descendants are men- 
tioned in ch. iv. The Pal. Targum to Gen. v. 3 adds : " but before 
Eve had borne Cain, who was not like to him " (i.e. Adam). 

^ The words " likeness and image " are not mentioned in the story 
of Cain's birth. The first editions add : " neither did his deeds resemble 
those of Abel his brother." Cain inherited the nature of Sammael, 
the angel of Death, and became a murderer. 

* The words in brackets are not in the text. 

* The first editions add : " of his seed." 

* The first editions add : " and his deeds were similar to those of Abel 
his brother." 

' The first editions read : " Ishmael." Our MS. agrees with the 
Midrash Haggadol, c. 117, and the O.xford MS. (O.A. 167). Dr. Biichler 
observes: "Also in the text of the Talmud Ishmael and Simeon are 
very irequently interchanged." 

* The first editions add : " all the creatures." 

' See i-upya, p. 151, note 5 , for this paragraph. There is probably .some 
confusion in the texts here. " The generations of the righteous" are 

xs8 



THE FALL OF THE ANGELS 159 

Cain arose and were descended all the generations of 
the wicked, who rebel ^ and sin, who rebelled against 
their Rock,^ and they said : We do not need the 
drops of Thy rain,^ neither to walk in Thy ways, as it 
is said. " Yet they said unto God, Depart from us " 
(Job xxi. 14). 

Rabbi Meir said : || The generations of Cain went about 
stark naked,^ men and women, just like the beasts,'^ and 
they defiled themselves with all kinds of immorality, 
a man with his mother or his daughter, or the wife of 
his brother,^ or the wife of his neighbour, in public ^ 
and in the streets, with evil inclination which is in the 
thought of their heart,® as it is said, " And the Lord 

the offspring of Seth mentioned in Gen. v. ; and " the generations of 
the wicked " are the offspring of Cain enumerated in Gen. iv. See 
Zohar, Gen. 35b, and Gen. Rab. xxiii. i. Pal. Targum to Gen., loc. cit., 
adds : " And Cain was cast out ; neither is his seed enumerated in the 
' Book of the generations of Adam.' " 

1 The expression is based on Ezek. xx. 38. 

^ Cf . infra, p. 341. The expression is often used to denote 
God as Creator. The first editions read : " The Omnipresent." The 
Oxford MS. (O.A. 167) and the Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit., read : 
" their Creator." 

3 Cf. Job xxiv. 13. The Midrash apphes this chapter of Job to the 
generation of the Flood. See Gjh. Rab. xx::i. 2. 

* Pal. Targum on Gen. vi. 2 says : " And the sons of the great saw 
that the daughters of men were beautiful . . . walking with naked 
flesh " ; cf. Job xxiv. 10, and Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 75 ff- 

* See Jubilees iii. 30, 31 and cf. ibid. vii. 16, for a strong protest 
against nudity. See also Jalkut, Deut. § 945 ; and cf . Briill, Trachten 
der Juden, pp. 4 ff. The fact that our book protests so strongly against 
the immodest vogue which probably obtained at the period and in the 

.place where the author lived might point to the " origin " of our book, 
if we could only locate the fact referred to. One is apt to think of the 
vagaries of certain classes of recluses who belonged to the Christian 
Church and led solitary lives in the deserts of Egypc. Thus, in the 
Paradise of the Holy Fathers (ed. Budge, vol. i. p. 242), we read of the 
Abba Bessarion, who " wandered hither and thither like one possessed ; 
in the season of frost he went naked." In the Jalkut quoted above, 
the passage states (on the text, Deut. xxxii. 21, " They have moved me 
to jealousy with that which is not God") : " this refers to those who 
come from Barbary (or Mauretania) who walk naked in the street " See 
also Siphre, Deut. § 320. Have we an echo of the warnings against 
incest referred to in Jubilees xxxiii. 10 ff.? and cf. ibid. xli. 25-26. 
See also Schatzhohlc, pp. 1 4 f . 

* For Ribbinic references to the subject see T.B. Synhedrin, 58a; 
and cf. T.B. Jebamoth, 63b. See also T.J. Jebamoth xi. i. iid, Gen. 
Rab. xviii. 5, and Siphra, Kedoshim x. 11. 

' See Zohar, Gen. 6ob. The first editions omit : " or the wife of his 
neighbour " ; they read : "in secret and in pubhc with evil inclina- 
tion," etc. 

« Cf. Gen. vi. 5. 



160 RABBI ELIEZER 

saw that the wickedness of man was great ^ in the earth " 
(Gen. vi. 5). 

Rabbi said : The angels who fell "^ from their holy 
place in heaven saw the daughters of the generations of 
Cain ^ walking about naked, with their eyes painted ^ 
like harlots, and they went astray after them,^ and took 
wives from amongst them, as it is said, " And the sons 
of Elohim " saw the daughters of men that they were 
fair ; and they took them wives of all that they chose " ' 
{ibid. 2). 

Rabbi Joshua ® said : The angels arc flaming fire, as it 
is said, " His servants are a flaming fire " (Ps. civ. 4), and 
fire came with the coition of flesh and blood, but did not 
burn the body ; ^ but when they fell from heaven, from their 
holy place, their strength and stature (became) like that 
of the sons of men, and their frame was (made of) clods of 
dust, as it is said, " My flesh is clothed with worms and 
clods of dust " (Job vii. 5). 

Rabbi Zadok said : From them were born the giants 

* The quotation ends here. The first editions continue as in our 
version. "Rabbi" mentioned in the next paragraph is R. Jehudah, 
the Prince. 

-These "fallen angels" were called Nephilim (the fallen ones). 
"Giants" is the usual rendering of this term. On the angels, cf. 
supra, pp. 46, 99; and infra, pp. i93f. These angels who fell from 
heaven are not mentioned by name in our book, but they are named 
Shemchazai and Uzziel in Pal. Targum to Gen. vi. 4, and also in the 
Azazel Midrash in Jellinek's B.H.M. iv. pp. 127 f. ; see Jcrahmocl, pp. 
53 ft., also Deut. Rab. xi. 9, and Zohar, Gen. 46b, 47a. The source of 
the legend is the Book of Enoch; sec Introduction. On the names of 
the angels, see Briill, Jahrbiicher filr Jiid. Gesch. i. 147 f., where the 
reference to our text must be corrected. 

3 See Nachmanides (in Gen. in he), who quotes our text. 

* See Pal. Targum, Gen. \i. 2 ; and cf. Gen. Rab. xxvi. 7, and Jalkut, 
Gen. § 44, quoting Midrash Abkhir. 

^ See Pal. Targum in loc; and cf. Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxxi. 

p. 158. 

* The R.V. renders, " the sons of God." The Targum gives " the 
sons of the nobles " (or the " mighty ") in the sense of " angels." 
Our MS. quotes the second half of this verse only, the first editions 
quote the first half of the verse. 

' The Pal. Targum renders : " And they took to themselves wives of 
all who pleased them." 

* The first editions add : " ben Korchah." 

* Cf. Paul's expression, " burned in their lust one toward another" 
(Rom. i. 27). On the " sin of the angels," see the Book of Adam and 
Eve (cd. Malan) in. iv., which gives a very interesting version, denying 
the possibility of " angels . . . committing sin with human beings " ; 
and see Recognitions of Clement, iv. 26, and Methodius, Discourse on 
the Resurrection, vii. 



THE FALL OF THE ANGELS 161 

(Anakim),^ who walked with pride in their heart,^ and who 
stretched forth their hand to all (kinds of) robbery and 
violence, and shedding of blood,^ as it is said, " And there 
we saw the Nephilim,^ the sons of Anak " (Num. xiii. 33) ; 
and it says, " The Nephilim were on the earth in those 
days " (Gen. vi. 4). 

Rabbi Joshua ^ said : || The Israelites are called " Sons 
of God," ^ as it is said, " Ye are the sons of the Lord your 
God " (Deut. xiv. 1). The angels are called " Sons of God," 
as it is said, " When the morning stars sang together, and 
all the sons of God shouted for joy " (Job xxxviii. 7) ; ' and 
whilst they were still in their holy place in heaven, these 
were called " Sons of God," as it is said, " And also after 
that, when ^ the sons of God came in unto the daughters of 
men, and they bare children to them ; the same became the 
mighty men, which were of old, men of renown " (Gen. vi. 
4).« 

Rabbi Levi said : They bare their sons and increased 
and multiplied ^° like a great reptile, six children at each 
birth.i^ In that very hour they ^^ stood on their feet, and 
spoke the holy language, and danced before them like 
sheep, as it is said, " They cast their young like sheep, and 
their children danced " (Job xxi. 11). 

Noah ^^ said to them : Turn from your ways and evil 

1 On the Anakim "giants" see T.B. Sotah, 34b, and Gen. Rab., 
loc. cit. 

* The first editions read : " with high stature." Cf . Wisdom xiv. 6. 
^ Cf. Job xxiv. 14. 

* See supra, p. luo, note 2. 

* First editions add : " ben Korchah." 

•On "Sons of God" in Gen. vi. 2 see LXX, Aquila, and Pesh. ; 
and Philo, de Gisant. 2, i. M. i. 263, C.W. ii. off. p. 44, and other refer- 
ences given by Charles on Jubilees v. i. See also Wisdom ii. 13, 15. 

' See Jubilees V. i. The LXX version of Job xxxviii. 7 is interesting 
as a parallel to our author's interpretation of the " sons of God." " When 
the stars were made, all my angels praised me with a loud voice." See 
also the Targum to Job in loc. 

* The MS. and the first editions give only part of the verse. 

* The angels whilst in heaven were the sons of " Elohim " ; when they 
fell and sinned they lost their right to this designation. Men may 
rise by virtue and hohness and become worthy of being called " the 
sons of Elohim." 

1" See Gen. Rab. xxxvi. i and Lev. Rab. v. i. Luria holds that this 
dictum of R. Levi has been interpolated here from Gen. Rab. loc. cit. 

^1 See infra, p. 1 74 ; and cf . T.B. Berakhoth, 6a. 

1^ The offspring. 

^' The Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan), loc. cit., offers a close 
parallel : " But Noah preached repeatedly to the children of Cain, saying, 

II 



162 RABBI ELIEZER 

deeds, so that He bring not upon you the waters of the 
Flood, and destroy all the seed of the children of men.^ 
They said to him : Behold, we will restrain ourselves from 
multiplying and increasing, so as not to produce the off- 
spring of the children of men. What did they do ? When 
they came to their wives they spilled the issue of their seed 
upon the earth - so as not to produce offspring of the children 
of men, as it is said, " And God saw the earth, and behold 
it was spilled " (Gen. vi. 12). They said : If He bring 
from heaven the waters of the Flood upon us, behold, we 
are of high stature, and the waters will not reach || up to our 
necks ; ^ and if He bring the waters of the depths against 
us, behold, the soles of our feet can close up all the depths. 
What did they do ? They put forth the soles of their 
feet, and closed up all the depths."* What did the Holy One, 
blessed be He, do ? He heated the waters of the deep, 
and they arose and burnt their flesh, and peeled off their 
skin from them, as it is said, " What time they wax warm, 
they vanish ; when it is hot, they are consumed out of their 
place " (Job vi. 17). Do not read thus (" When it is hot," 
1»n3), but (read) " in his hot waters " (VD^Dn3).5 

' The flood will come and destroy you, if we do not repent.' But they 
would not hearken to him ; they onlj' laughed at him." See also Gen. 
Rab. XXX. 7, Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xv. p. 74, the Book of Jashar v. 
22 ff., Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. iS, and T.B. Synhedrin, io8b. See also 
Ephraim, on the Repentance of Nineveh (E.T. p. 34), for the refusal of 
the people to repent at the bidding of Noah. The Church Fathers speak 
of Noah as a preacher. See Methodius, Banquet of Ten Virgins, x. 3. 
and cf. Hippolytus, A.N.C.L. vi. pp. 492 f. 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 39 f ., and Wisdom x. 4. 
*Thc Oxford MS. (O.A. 167) reads: "And the Holy One, blessed 

be He, saw that they had corrupted their way." See R.V. Gen. vi. 12. 
^ " Water up to the neck " is an expression of extreme peril ; cf. 
Isa. viii. 8, xxx. 28 ; Ps. Ixix. 2. 

* See Pal. Targum on Gen. vii. 10, T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cit., and 
infra, p. 167. 

" The Hebrew could be interpreted as meaning " anger." The 
later editions add : " The Parashah (Portion) of Bereshith (Gen. i. 
i-vi. 8) is completed." These words are highly significant. They seem 
to indicate that our book was intended originally to be a Midrash 
on the Torah, and as it is now preserved it is but a fragment of 
what it might have been. The " Portion " of Genesis is not to be 
identified with the " Book " of Genesis. The question of the triennial 
cycle of reading the Torah must also be borne in mind in dealing with 
our book. Tlie narrative dealing with the Adam 1. gends recurs three 
times: (i) Chapters IH.-V., (2) Chapters XI.-XIV., and (3) Chapters 
XVIII.-XXII. Thus far in the first twenty-two chapters of the book 
we have only covered the first six chapters of Genesis. The first two 



THE FALL OF THE ANGELS 163 

chapters were biographical, and apart from them, the actual Midrash 
of twenty chapters may be subdivided as follows : 
III.-V. Creation. 
VI. -VIII. Astronomy. 
IX. Ritual. 
X. Jonah. 

XI. Creation Story resumed. 
XII. -XIV. Adam and Eve and Sammael. 
XV. Ethical matter. 
XVI. Abraham, Isaac, Eliezer, and Rebecca, and Wedding 
Customs. 
XVII. Mourning Rites. 
XVIII. Adam. 
XIX.-XX. Sabbath. 
XXI.-XXII. Cain, Abel, and the Fall of the Angels. 
Chapters XVI. and XVII. seem out of place in this scheme. 

A considerable portion of this chapter and the one following occurs 
in the Midrash Haggadol. Several parallels are to be found in Leljarli 
Tob, Midrash Agadah, and Aggadath Bereshith. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE ARK AND THE FLOOD [26b. ii.] 

" And this is how thou shalt make the ark " ^ (Gen. vi. 15). 
R. Shemiah taught : The Holy One, blessed be He, showed 
Noah with a finger ~ and said to him. Like this and that 
shalt thou do to the ark. One hundred and fifty rooms ^ 
were along the length at the left ^ side of the ark, thirty- 
three ^ rooms across the width in the side within,^ and thirty- 
three rooms in the side across the width on the outside ; ' 
and ten compartments in the centre, which were for the 
storerooms for the food.^ And there were five protected 
cisterns ^ on the right side of the ark, and fifty ^^ protected 
cisterns on the left side of the ark, and the openings for the 
water pipes opened and closed, and so was it in the lowest 

* The Scripture text reads " it," referring to the ark. See J.E. 
s.v. Noah, Ark, Deluge ; the Pal. Targum has undoubtedly used 
our Midrash in the paraphrase of the Noah narrative (Gen. vi.-vii.). 
The subject has been dealt with by Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 79 ff., and 
by Ginzberg, op. cit. pp. 39 fi., 79 ff., 87. 

* See uifra, pp. 382 f., and T.B. Menachoth, 29a, Mekhilta, p. 2b, 
Tosaphoth to T.B Chullin, 42a, and Midiash Haggadol, c. 148. 

^ Lit. " nests " or " cells " ; see Pal. Targum, Gen. vi. 1 5 , and Book 
of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) iii. ii., for a parallel tradition. 

* The first editions read : " right side of the ark, and one hundred 
and fifty along the left side." MS. Gaster reads : " One hundred rooms 
along tlic right side," etc. 

* Pal. Targum. loc. cit., has : " thirty-six in the middle." Ginsburger, 
Pseudo-Jonathan, in loc, reads: "thirty-three." 

* Where the entrance was, i.e. on the east of the ark. 

' Luria suggests that " within " may refer to the east, and " the 
outside " to the west. 

* See Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan), loc. cit., for a parallel, and 
cf. Hippolyius, A.N.C.L. vi. p. 491. 

» nvc!:BN = nv:p'iS!< (puteana), enclosures surrounding a well ; see Book 
of Adam and Eve, loc. cit. : " line the well with lead." This word occurs 
in the Pal. Targum, loc. cit. 

'• The printed editions read : " five." 

164 



THE ARK AND THE FLOOD 165 

division ; ^ and so |j on the second floor, and so on the third 
floor.2 

The dwelHng-place of all the cattle and animals ^ was in 
the lowest compartment, the dwelling-place for all fowl was 
in the second compartment, and the dwelling-place for the 
reptiles ^ and the human beings was in the third compart- 
ment.^ Hence thou mayest learn ^ that there were 366 kinds 
of cattle on the earth, and 366 kinds of fowl on the earth, 
and 366 kinds of reptiles on the earth, for thus was (the 
number) in the lowest compartment,' so in the second 
compartment, and so in the third floor, as it is said, " With 
lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it " {ibid. 
16). 

Rabbi Tachanah ^ said : Noah made the ark during fifty- 
two years,^ so that they should repent of their ways.^° But 
they did not repent. Whilst yet the Flood had not come, 
the unclean (animals) were more numerous than the clean 
(animals). But when the waters of the Flood came, and 

1 i.e. the hold. 

2 Cf. Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan), loc. cit. 

2 See T.B. Synhedrin, io8b. A parallel to our Midrash is to be 
found in Hippolytus in A.N.C.L. vi., loc. cit., and sec German edition 
(Achelis), p. SS. Schatzhohle, p. 17, has also a parallel. 

* The first editions add: " and creeping things." 
^ Cf. Book of Adam and Eve, loc. cit. 

* Cf . Luria's reading, which agrees with the tradition preserved in 
Midrash Konen, B.H.M. ii. 3<) ; cf. LekachTob, Gen. p. 39. According 
to Luria the text should be : " Hence thou mayest learn, that all the 
kinds of fowl on the earth equal 365 ; and likewise with the kinds of 
reptiles on the earth, and so with the kinds of cattle and animals on 
the earth." The first editions read : " 32 kinds of fowl on the earth, 
365 kinds of reptiles on the earth." 

' 366 rooms. This number is found thus : 150 on the right. 

150 on the left. 
33 " within." 
33 " without." 

366 

Does this number refer to the 366 days of our author's solar year ? 
Noah was in the ark one solar year. 

* The first editions read: " Tanchuma." 

* According to the Book of Jashar v. 34 Noah took five years to 
build the ark ; see A.N.C.L. xviii. p. 344. 

*" The first editions add : " and evil deeds," but omit : " But they 
did not repent." See the Book of Adam and Eve, loc. cit. The same 
tradition occurs in the writings of several of the Church Fathers : 
Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolyctts, in. 19), Ephraim of Syria (on 
Jonah, 13) ; Revelation of Paul, A.N.C.L. xvi. p. 491 ; and Book of 
the Bee, p. 31 ; see also supra, pp. 161 f. 



166 RABBI ELIEZER 

the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to increase the clean 
and to diminish the unclean (animals), He called to Noah 
and said to him : Take to thee into the ark of all clean 
beasts seven and seven, ^ the male and his female ; and of 
the unclean beasts two and two, the male and his female, 
as it is said, " Of every || clean beast thou shalt take to 
thee 2 seven and seven, the male and his female ; and of 
the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his female " 
{ibid. vii. 2), 

Noah said to the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign of 
all the world ! Have I then the strength to collect them unto 
me to the ark ? The angels appointed over each kind 
went down and gathered them,^ and with them all their 
food unto him to the ark. They came to him of their 
own accord,* as it is said, " And they came unto Noah 
into the ark " {ibid. 9) ; they came by themselves. " And 
they brought (them) to Noah " is not written here, but, 
" And they came unto Noah into the ark." ^ 

Rabbi Mana said : When all the creatures had entered 
(the ark), the Holy One, blessed be He, closed and sealed ^ 
with His hand the gate ' of the ark, as it is said, " And the 
Lord shut him in " {ibid. 16). 

Rabbi Meir said : One pearl was suspended in the ark, 
and shed light upon all the creatures in the ark, like a lamp 
which gives light ^ inside ^ the house, and like the sun 

1 The first editions end the paragraph here. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS., which adds " etc." 

' The Book of Adam and Eve (cd. Malan) iii. viii. says : " My power 
shall go with it (the trumpet blast) to make it come into the ears of 
the beasts and the birds. ... I will command my angel to blow the 
horn from heaven, and all these animals shall be gathered unto thee." 
Cf. Pal. Targum on Gen. vi. 20 : " they shall enter to thee by the hand 
of the angel, who will take and cause them to enter to thee." 

* This is not in the printed texts. For a similar legend see Gen. Rab. 
xxxii. 4 and 5, and cf. Ephraim, Sermon on Repentance i. t,. 

* This sentence is not in the printed texts. In the previous sentence 
the first editions read : " ' And Noah brought ' is not written in the 
Scripture, but ' And they came unto Noah.' " 

' The same expression occurs in the Book of Adam and Eve (cd. 
Malan) in. ix. 
' Or, " door." 

* See Pal. Targum, tw/oc; T.B. Synhedrin, /oc.cii. ; Jalljcut.Gen., inloc; 
Gen. Rab. xxxi. 11, which has a different version as compared with the 
Talmudic version of the legend. According to the Midrash it is Rabbi Levi 
who gives the tradition. Cf. Leljach Tob, in loc, and supra, p. 21. 

* The first editions read : " by its power, as it is said : ' A light 
shalt thou make,' " etc. 



THE ARK AND THE FLOOD 167 

yonder which shines in his might, as it is said, " A Hght shalt 
thou make to the ark " {ibid. vi. 16). 

Rabbi Zadok said : On the 10th of Marcheshvan all the 
creatures entered the ark ; on the 17th of the same ^ (month) 
the waters of the Flood descended from heaven upon the 
earth, for they were the waters (endowed with the) male 
(principle). And there came up the waters of the depths, 
for they are the waters (endowed) with the female (prin- 
ciple),^ and they were joined with one another, and they 
prevailed so as to destroy |I the world,^ as it is said, " And 
the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth " {ibid. 
vii. 19). 

And all living things which were upon the face of the 
earth decayed,^ as it is said, " And every living thing was 
destroyed which was upon the face of the ground " {ibid. 
23), except Noah and those who were with him in the ark, 
as it is said, " And Noah only was left, and they that 
were with him in the ark " {ibid.), except Og,^ king of 
Bashan, who sat down on a piece of wood under the gutter ^ 
of the ark. He swore to Noah and to his sons that he 
would be their servant for ever.'' What did Noah do ? 
He bored an aperture in the ark, and he put (through it) his 
food daily for him, and he also was left, as it is said, " For 
only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of the 
giants " (Deut. iii. 11). 

(The Flood was universal) except in the land of Israel,^ 
upon which the water of the Flood did not descend from 

^ See Pal. Targum, Gen. vii. 1 1 ; and compare our text with the Scrip- 
ture text. See also T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, iib; Seder 'Olam Rab. iv. 
p. loa, note 17. Rabbi Eliezer held the view that the world was created 
in EUul and Adam in Tishri. 

^ See supra, p. 30 ; T.J. Berakhoth ix. 3. 14a, and Eth. Enoch liv. <S. 
The rain from heaven is the male principle. 

^ The living creatures in the world. 

* The first editions read : " were destroyed." 

* See T.B. Niddah, 6ia, and Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 267. 
The Midrashic interpretation of the word " Rephaim " (Deut. iii. 1 1) gave 
rise to this legend. See Job xxvi. 5, sttpra, p. 112, and infra, p. 253. 
The legend which connects Og with the " Palit " is ignored by our book, 
which identifies Og with EUezer, the servant of Abraham. The " Paht " 
is identified with Michael, see infra, pp. 193 f. ; and cf. J.E. ix. 388, and 
Griinbaum, op. cit. p. 80. 

* The first editions read : " On a rung of (one of) the ladders." 
' See supra, p. 112. 

* See T.B. Zebachim, 113a; Nachmanides in his commentary on 
Gen., in loc, and 3 Baruch iv. 10. 



168 RABBI ELIEZER 

heaven, but the waters were gathered together from all 
lands, and they entered therein, as it is said, " Son of 
man, say unto her. Thou art a land that is not cleansed, nor 
rained upon, in the day of indignation " ^ (Ezek. xxii. 2i). 
He 2 sent forth the raven to ascertain what was (the state 
of) the world. It went and found a carcase of a man cast 
upon the summit of a mountain, ^ and it settled thereon 
for its food,* and it did not return with its message to its 
sender, as it is said, " And he sent forth the raven " 
(Gen. viii. 7). He sent forth the do\ e to see what was 
(the state of) the world, and she brought back her message 
to her sender, as it is said. " And the dove came in to 
him at eventide," and, lo, in her mouth an olive leaf pluekt 
off " '^ {ibid. 11). And why in her mouth was an olive leaf 
pluekt off ? II The dove spake before the Holy One, 
blessed be He, saying : Sovereign of all worlds ! Let my 
food be bitter like this olive, and let it be entrusted ' 
to Thy hand, and let it not be sweet (even) as honey, and 
given by the hand of flesh and blood. ^ Hence they » said : 
He who sends a message by the hand of an unclean (messen- 
ger) 1" is (like) sending by the hand of a fool, and he who 
sends a message by the hands of a clean (messenger) is like 
sending by the hand of a messenger faithful to his senders." 
Rabbi Zadok said : For twelve 12 months all the creatures 

> The land in thr- text is interpreted by the Midrash as referring 
to the Holy Land at the time of the Flood. 

- i.e. Noah. The first editions read : " Noah." 
^ Lit. " upon the tops of the mountains." 

* Cf. the interpretation of Job xxiv. 20, in G'=-n. Rnb. .xxxiii. 5. 
*The MS. ends the quotation at "eventide." The first editions 

continue the verse. Pal. Targum, Gen. viii. 11, reads: "And the 
dove came to him at the evening time, and behold, a leaf of olive 
gathered, broken off, she brought in her mouth, and which she had 
taken from the mount of Ohves." Palestine had escaped the deluge. 
See Seder 'Olam Rab. iv. p. lob. note 27, and Tosaphoth lo'Erubin i8b. 
« Cf. the R.V. 

' The first editions read : " and given by Thy hand." 
•Cf. Gen. Rab. xxxiii. 6; T.B. Synhedrin, io8b ; and Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, p. 41. See also Revelation of Paul, loc. cit. 

• The sages of Israel. 

'° Later editions read: "evil." The raven was " unclean," whilst 
the dove was a " clean " bird ; see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, 
pp. 40 f . 

»' Cf. Prov. XXV. 13 for a similar expression ; see Jalkut, Gen. § 58 ; 
Aboth de R. Nathan '17) xxxiv. p. 51b. 

»= See Mishnah'Edujoth ii.; and Scder'Olam Rab. iv.i>.<)h. The Flood 
began on the 17th of Marcheshvan, and on the 27th of this month, a 



THE ARK AND THE FLOOD 169 

were in the ark; and Noah stood and prayed before the 
Holy One, blessed be He, saying before Him : ^ Sovereign 
of all worlds ! Bring me forth from this prison, for my soul 
is faint, because of the stench ^ of lions.^ Through me will 
all the righteous crown Thee with a crown of sovereignty,* 
because Thou hast brought me forth from this prison, as 
it is said, " Bring my soul out of prison,^ that I may give 
thanks unto thy name : for the righteous shall crown me, 
when thou wilt have dealt bountifully with me " (Ps, cxlii. 7).^ 
Rabbi Levitas, a man of Jamnia, said : He separated the 
males from the females of all which came to the ark ' when 
they came into the ark, as it is said, " And Noah went in, 
and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives " (Gen. vii. 7). 
Verily the males were on one side.^ When they went forth 
from the ark. He caused the males to be joined with the 
females, as it is said, " Go forth of the ark, thou, and 
thy wife,^ and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee " 
(ibid. viii. 16). Verily a man with his wife (went forth), 
" Thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee"^° (ibid.) \\ He 
blessed them, that they might increase and multiply on the 
earth, as it is said, " And God blessed Noah and his sons,^^ 



year later, Noah was released. This period lasted one year and eleven 
days, i.e. one lunar year plus eleven days, which is the duration of a 
solar year. 

1 See th'? fine prayer in the Book of Jashar \'i. 31. which has used our 
P.R.E. See Tanchuma, Noah § ix. The basis of the prayer here is 
probably Isa. xlix. 9. 

2 Luria suggests that the text should read: " the dread." 
' The first editions add : " bears and leopards." 

* The story of Noah forms part of the " ?ichronoth" in the Syna- 
,c;oguc liturgy for the New Year. For another explanation see Tanchuma, 
Gen., loc. cit. See Introduction. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; the first editions continue 
the verse. 

* See the Book of Jashar vi. 36. 

' The first editions omit : " when they came into the ark." See the 
Book of Adam and Eve fed. Malan) iii. vii. f. ; T.J. Ta'anith i. b. 64d ; 
T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cit. ; Gen. Rab. xxxi. 12. The Church has in some 
quarters to this day retained the custom of separating the sexes at 
Divine worship. For other references see Ginzberg, op. cit. p. 82, who 
quotes Origen and Ephraim. 

* The first editions add : " And the females were on the other side." 
The legend occurs also in Hippolytus (ed. Achelis), G.T., loc. cit. 

' The MSS. end the quotation here : the first editions continue the 
verse. 

" Cf . Luria's reading. 

" The MS. ends the quotation here ; the first editions continue the 
verse till the word " multiply." 



170 RABBI ELIEZER 

and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish 
the earth " {ibid. ix. 1). The sons of Noah were fruitful and 
multiplied, and they begat sons with their twins with thcni.^ 
Noah found a vine whieh was lying there,- whieh had 
come out of the garden of Eden.^ It had its clusters with 
it, and he took of its fruit and ate, and rejoiced in his heart,^ 
as it is said, " My wine, which cheercth God and man " 
(Judg. ix. 13). He planted a vineyard with it. On the 
selfsame day it produced and became ripe ^ with its fruits, 
as it is said, " In the day of thy planting thou dost make 
it grow,'' and in the morning thou makest thy seed to 
blossom " (Isa. xvii, 11)." He drank wine thereof, and he 
became exposed in the midst of the tent, as it is said, 
" And he drank of the wine, and was drunken ; and he was 
uncovered within his tent " (Gen. ix. 21).*^ Canaan entered 
and saw the nakedness of Noah, and he bound a thread 
(where the mark of) the Covenant ^ was, and emasculated 
him. He went forth and told his brethren. Ham entered 
and saw his nakedness. He did not take to heart the duty 
of honouring (one's father ^°). But he ^^ told his two brothers 
in the market,^- making sport ^'^ of liis father. His two 

' This sentence does not occur in the printed editions. See 

Midiasli Haggadol, c. 105. 

' The first editions read: " which had been cast forth." 

^ Pal. Targum, G:n. ix. 20, reads: "And he found a vine which 

the river had brought away from the i^arden of Eden." Apparently 

our ^Nlidrash wishes to connect the folly of Noah with the sin of Adam ; 

see Siphre, Deut. § 323. Cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 70a, Gen. Kab. xxxvi. 3, 

and ^ohar, Gen. 73a. See 3 Baruch iv. 10 ff. 

* The first editions read : " and he desired them in his heart." The 
quotation which follows in our text is omitted by the printed editions. 

* The 1st ed. and several later editions read : " its fruits ripened." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and first editions. 

" Note the preceding verse in Isaiah. See Rabbinic Philosophy and 
Ethics, p. 43. 

* The quotation does not occur in the printed editions of our book. 

* i.e. Circumcision. The legend that Noah was an eunuch occurs 
also in Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolycus, iii. 19). Sec aha Zohar, 
Gen. 73b, and Griinbaum, op. cit. p. 86. 

1° bur MS. reads : " the duty (or precept) of ' Honour '" (Ex. xx. 12). 
Some editions (Amsterdam) add: "and mother." See Book of Adam 
and Eve (cd. Malan) iii. xiii. According to Luria the text should con- 
tinue: "therefore was he cursed by being called a slave"; see 
Tanchuma, cd. Bubtr, Gen. 2.\h. 

" The first editions read : " He went forth and told." 

*' So also the Targumim, in loc. Perhaps the translation should 
be "outside." 

" See Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph. cxxxix. ; " who mocked at his 
father's nakedness." 



THE ARK AND THE FLOOD 171 

brothers rebuked him. What did they do ? They took 
the curtain of the east ^ with them, and they went back- 
wards and covered - the nakedness of their father, as it 
is said, " And Shem and Japheth took a garment,^ and 
laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and 
covered the nakedness of their father ; and their faces 
were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness " 
{ibid. 23). 

Noah awoke from his wine, and he knew what the 
younger son of Ham had done unto him, and he cursed him,^ 
as it is said, " And he said, Cursed be Canaan " {ibid. 
25). Noah sat and mused in his heart, saying : The Holy 
One, blessed be He, delivered me || from the waters of the 
Flood, and brought me forth from that prison, and am 
I not obliged to bring before Thee a sacrifice and burnt 
offerings ? ^ What did Noah do ? He took from the clean ^ 
animals an ox and a sheep,' and from all the clean birds, 
a turtle-dove and pigeons ; and he built up the first altar 
upon which Cain and Abel ^ had brought offerings, and he 
brought four burnt offerings, as it is said, " And Noah 
builded an altar unto the Lord ; and took of every ^ clean 
beast, and of every clean fowl, and he offered burnt offerings 
on the altar " {ibid. viii. 20). It is written here only, " and 
he offered burnt offerings on the altar," and the sweet 
savour ascended before the Holy One, blessed be He, and ^° 
it was pleasing to Him, as it is said, " And the Lord smelled 
the sweet savour " {ibid. 21). What did the Holy One, 

1 Or "veil of the east," the veil or curtain used to shield one 
from the heat and glare of the sun. The 2nd ed. reads : " the 
cover." 

* See Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 23, note 16. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and first editions. 

* See Gen. Rab., loc. cit., and Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tvyph., loc. cii. ; 
for other references to Church Fathers see Ginzberg, op. cit. p. 86. 

° See ?ohar, Gen. 70a. There is considerable agreement between 
the Zohar and P.R.E. in this and the next chapter. 

* See Book of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) in. xi. 
' The first editions add : " and a goat." 

* Pal. Targum, Gen. viii. 20, reads : " And Noah built an altar before 
the Lord ; that altar which Adam had built at the time when he was 
cast forth from the garden of Eden, and had offered an offering upon 
it ; and upon it had Cain and Abel offered their offerings." Cf . also 
T.B. Zebachim, 115b, and Gen. Rab. xxxiv. 9, 

" The quotation ends here in the MS. 

"The first editions add: "as it is said, 'and he offered burnt 
offerings on the altar ' " (Gen. viii. 20). 



172 RABBI ELIEZER 

blessed be He, do ? He put forth His right hand, and 
swore to Noah ^ that He would not - bring the waters of the 
Flood upon the earth, as it is said, " For this is as the waters 
of Noah unto me ; for as I have sworn ^ that the waters 
of Noah should no more go over the earth " (Isa. liv. 9). 
And He gave a sign in the rainbow as a sign of the covenant 
of the oath between Himself and the people, as it is said, 
" I do set my bow in the cloud,^ and it shall be for a token 
of a covenant " (Gen. ix. 13). 

And thus our sages instituted ^ that they should (mention) ^ 
the oath to Noah every day, as it is said, " That j^our days 
may be multiplied, and the days of your children, upon 
the land ' which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give 
them, as the days of the heavens above the earth " (Deut. 
xi. 21). 

Noah brought his sons and his grandsons, and he blessed 
them with their (several) settlements,^ and he gave them 
as an inheritance all the earth.^ He especially blessed ^^ 
Shem and his sons, (making them) dark but comely,^^ and 
he gave them the habitable earth.^^ jje blessed Ham and 

* See infra, pp. 335, 347 ; and cf. Tanchuma, Noah § xi. 

* The first editions add here: " again." 

^ The quotation ends here in the MS. and the first editions, which 
add : " etc." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* See T.B. Berakhoth, 13a, for the daily recital of the story of the 
Exodus. The Scripture passage quoted occurs in the second section 
of the " Shema " ; see Singer, p. 41. The ritual question involved 
here is interesting, because the actual narrative of the oath to Noah 
is not recited daily. The verse quoted as a reason for this institution 
continues, after the word " land," thus: " which the Lord sware unto 
your fathers to give them." This was not the oath to Noah. See 
Eth. Enoch Iv. 2. 

* The MS. omits " mention " ; it occurs in the first editions. 

' The first editions end the quotation here ; in the MS. the last word 
quoted is " children." In the printed texts this quotation is the con- 
clusion of the chapter. Our MS. continues with a section which forms 
part of chapter xxiv. in the printed editions. 

* The first editions read : " gifts." 

' The division of the earth among the sons of Noah is also men- 
tioned by Jubilees viii. 10, and was known to the Church Father, 
Epiphanius (G.T. pp. 217 ff.). 

'" The verb is repeated. 

" Cf. Cant. i. 5 ; but they were not " black " ; llic Oxford MS. 
(O.A. 1O7) reads: " white and comely." 

*^ Not the sea which was the lot of the sons of Ham, nor the deserts 
which fell to the sons of Japhcth. Shem has his tents and fixed abode 
in the habitable lands of the earth. 



THE ARK AND THE FLOOD 173 

his sons, (making them) dark || hke the raven,^ and he gave 
them as an inheritance the coast of the sea.^ He blessed 
Japheth and his sons, (making) them entirely white,^ and 
he gave them for an inheritance the desert and its fields ; * 
these (are the inheritances with) which he endowed them.^ 

^ Luria reads, as an emendation, " black and uncomely" ; cf. Gen. 
Rab. xxxvi. 7. If our MS. text be accepted, a parallel may be found 
in Cant. v. 11. 

2 e.g. the Egyptians on the seacoast, or the Sidonians on the 
Phoenician coast; cf. Jer. xlvii. 7. 

3 The first editions add : " and beautiful." Japheth as a word 
signifies " beauty." The sons of Japheth were the migratory tribes 
from the north, e.g. the Goths who settled in Europe. See Eth. Enoch 
Ixxxviii. g. 

* The first editions read : " desert and fields." 

^ i.e. the children of Noah. The words in brackets occur in the first 
editions. Soe Introduction, pp. xxiv. f., and li. 



CHAPTERXXIV 

NIMROD AND THE TOWER OF BABEL [28b. i.] 

Rabbi Eliezer ^ said : They begat their sons and increased 
and raultipHed like a great reptile, six at each birth, ^ and 
they were all one people, and one heart, and one language, 
as it is said, " And the whole earth was of one language 
and of one speech " (Gen. xi. 1).^ They despised the pleasant 
land,* as it is said, " And it came to pass, as they journeyed ^ 
in the east " {ibid. 2). They went to the land of Shinar, and 
found there a large stone,^ very extensive, and the whole 
plain, and they dwelt there, as it is said, " And they found 
a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there " {ibid.). 

Rabbi Akiba said : They cast off the Kingdom of 
Heaven ^ from themselves, and appointed Nimrod king over 
themselves ; a slave son of a slave. Are not all the 
sons of Ham slaves ? ^ And woe to the land when a slave 
rules,^ as it is said, " For a servant, when he is king " i° 
(Prov. XXX. 22). 

Rabbi Chakhinai ^^ said : Nimrod was a mighty hero, 

1 The first editions read " Ilai." 

* We have had this expression supra, p. i6i. It is an "Oriental" 
exaggeration, signifjring the proUfic nature of the people. 

3 See Pal. Targum, in loc. 

* Palestine ; cf. Ps. cvi. 24, and Zohar, Gen. 75b. 

* " In the east " might also be rendered " in the commencement," 
or " at first " ; see ?ohar, Gen. 74b. 

* The first editions read : " a large and extensive land, entirely a 
plain." 

' See T.B. 'Erubin, 53a ; cf. Pal. Targum to Gen. x. 8 on Nimrod ; 
see also the Book of Jashar vii. 46 fl., and Jerahmeel Ivii. 14. Augustine 
rendered Gen. x. 9, " Nimrod was a hunter against God " {de Civ. Dei, 
xvi, 4). 

* The Venice edition reads : " are slaves." 

» The phraseology is based on Eccl s. x. 16. 

" The previous verse says, " The earth trembles." Nimrod caused 
the people to tremble, as a result of discarding the Kingdom of Heaven. 
»i The first editions read " Chanina." 

»74 



NIMROD AND TOWER OF BABEL 175 

as it is said, " And THush begat Nimrod, who began to be a 
mighty one in the earth " (Gen. x. 8). Rabbi Jehudah said : ^ 
The coats 2 which the Holy One, blessed be He, made for 
Adam and his wife, were with Noah ^ in the ark, and when 
they went forth from the ark, 1| Ham, the son of Noah, 
brought them forth with him, and gave them as an inherit- 
ance to Nimrod.* When he put them on, all beasts, 
animals, and birds, when they saw the coats, ^ came and pros- 
trated themselves before him.^ The sons of men ' thought 
that this (was due) to the power of his might ; therefore 
they made him king over themselves, as it is said, " Where- 
fore it is said. Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the 
Lord " {ibid. 9).8 

Nimrod said to his people : ^ Come, let us build a great 
city for ourselves, and let us dwell therein, lest we be 
scattered upon the face of all the earth, as the first people ^° 
(were). Let us build a great tower in its midst, ascending 
to heaven, 11 for the power of the Holy One, blessed be He, 
is only in the water,!^ and let us make us a great name on the 
earth, as it is said, " And let us make us a name " {ibid. 
xi. 4). 

^ See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 44 f . On the garments 
of Adam and Eve see the Book of Jashar, vii. 24 ff. ; Gen. Rab. xx. 12 
and Ixv. 16; Pal. Targ. Gen. xxv. 27, xxvii. 15. 

* The first editions read " coat." See Book of the Bee, p. 3^. 

' The first editions read " them." See Hippolytus, .<4 .AT.C.L. vi. p.492. 

* The Recognitions of Clement, iv. 27, speak of Ham as the first 
magician and refer to Nimrod as follows : " the magic art having 
been handed down to him as bv a flash " {ibid. 29). 

» The MS. reads : " the writing" (ansn). 

* See Rashi on T.B. Pesachim, 54b, and the Book of Jashar, loc. 
cit. 

' The first editions read " they," i.e. his fellow-countrymen ; see 
Jalkut, Gen. § 62. See J.E. ix. 309. 

^ The next verse says, " The beginning of his kingdom." See 
Josephus, Ant. i. 4. 2 ; T.B. Pesachim, 94b; and cf. Pal. Targum, 
in loc, and the Book of the Bee, p. 37. 

* See T.B. Chullin, 89a; Gen. Rab. xxvi. 4; and cf. Lekach Tob, 
Gen. p. 27a. 

" At the Flood. According to Jubilees vii. 20, Noah enjoined 
upon his sons commandments " to cover the shame of their 
flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and 
love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and 
uncleanness and all iniquity. For owing to these three things came 
the flood upon the earth." 

" See T.B. Synhedrin, 109a, and Othijoth de R. 'Akiba, letter Resh. 
B.H.M. iii. pp. 46 f. 

12 Luria thinks that the correct reading should be " in heaven," 
and not " in the water." 



176 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi Phineas said : There were no stones there where- 
with to build the city and the tower. What did they do ? 
They baked bricks and burnt them Hke a builder' (would 
do), until they built it seven ^ mils^ high, and it had ascents 
on its east and west, (The labourers) who took up the 
bricks went up on the eastern (ascent), and those who 
descended went' downTon the western (descent). If a man 
fell and died they paid no heed to him, but if a brick fell 
they II sat down and wept, and said : Woe is us ! when will 
another one come in its stead ? ' 

And Abraham,'* son of Terah,^ passed by, and saw them 
building the city and the tower, and he cursed them in the 
name of his God,' as it is said, " Swallow up, O Lord, 
divide their language " (Ps. Iv. 9). But they rejected his 
words,^ like a stone cast upon the ground. Is it not a fact 
that every choice and good ^ stone is only put at the corner 
of a building ? and with reference to this, the text says, 
" The stone which the builders rejected is become the head 
of the corner " {ibid, cxviii. 22). 

Rabbi Simeon said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
called to the seventy ^^ angels, who surround the throne of 
His glory, and He said to them : Come, let us descend and 
let us confuse the seventy nations and the seventy languages. '^ 

Whence (do we know) that the Holy One, blessed be 

' Or " stone mason." 

2 The first editions read " seventy." See Book of the Bee, p. 41. 

' " Mil " (mille) =2000 cubits. According to the Jalkut, Gen. in 
loc, the height was seven miles; see also Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. Iv. p. 
145b. The MS. adds " of property." 

* This indifference to the value of human life reappears in the story 
of the Egj^tian bondage ; see infra, p. 380. See also Rabbinic J Philo- 
sophy and Ethics, p. 46, and cf. 3 Baruch iii. 5. 

' In the first editions the name is " Abram." See Wisdom x. 5. 

' Terah was one of those who assisted in the building of the Tower 
of Babel, according to the Zohar, Lev. iiib. 

'The expression is borrowed from 2 Kings ii. 2.\. See Seder 
'Olam Rab. i. p. 3a. 

* Abraham uttered his reproof in vain. See Jalkut, Pss. 

§ 703. 

' See I Sam. ix. 2 for this phrase. 

1" The seventy nations with Israel form the human famil3^ Israel 
has no guardian angel ; God is the Guardian of Israel. Sec LXX, 
D ut. xxxii. 8. for the earliest form of this Midrash. Augustine, de Civ. 
Dei, xvi. 5, offers a parallel to this Haggadali. See al.so Hippolytus 
((-d. AcLelis), ii. p. -'43; CLmeiii of ALxandria, Strom, vi. 17; and 
Recognitions of Clement, ii. 42. 

" The first editions read : " Come, let us confuse their speech." 



NIMROD AND TOWER OF BABEL 177 

He, spake 1 to them? Because it is said, " Go to, let us 
go down " (Gen. xi. 7). " I will go down " is not written, 
but " Go to, let us go down." ^ And they cast lots among 
them. Because it is said, " When the Most High gave to 
the nations their inheritance " (Deut. xxxii. 8). The lot 
of the Holy One, blessed be He, fell upon Abraham and 
upon his seed,^ as it is said, " For the Lord's portion is his 
people ; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance " (ibid. 9). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said : The portion and 
lot which have fallen to Me,* My soul liveth thereby,^ as it 
is said, " The lots have fallen unto me in pleasures ; yea, 
I have a goodly heritage " (Ps. xvi. 6). The Holy One, 
blessed be He, descended with the seventy angels, who 
surround || the throne of His glory, and they confused their 
speech into seventy ^ nations and seventy languages. Whence 
do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, descended ? 
Because it is said, " And the Lord God came down to see 
the city and the tower " (Gen. xi. 5). This was the second 
descent.' 

And they wished to speak one to another in the lan- 
guage ^ of his fellow-countryman, but one did not understand 
the language of his fellow. What did they do ? Every 
one took his sword, and they fought one another to destroy 
(each other), and half the world fell there by the sword, 
and thence the Lord scattered them upon the face of all 
the earth, as it is said, " So the Lord scattered them 
abroad on that account, upon the face of all the earth " 
{ibid. 8). 

Rabbi Meir said : Esau, the brother of Jacob, saw the 

1 Luria reads, " He called." The first editions read : " descended 
unto them." 

^ See JaH:ut Makhiri, Pss., loc. cit., and cf. Gen. Rab. xxxviii. lo. 
^ Some editions read : " and upon his house." 

* See Jalkut, Psalms, § 667. 

° The first editions read : " My soul delighteth in him." 

* Some editions read, " seventy languages." The first editions 
add : " Each nation had its own writing and its own language, and 
He appointed an angel over each people. And Israel fell unto His 
lot and portion, and concerning this it is said, ' For the Lord's portion 
is his people'" (Deut. xxxii. 9). Each nation had not only its own 
language but also its peculiar style of writing. 

' See supra, p. 97. 

8 The first editions read, " in the holy language." See supra, 
p. 161 . The original language was Hebrew. See for a parallel legend. 
Recognitions of Clement, i. 30, and the Book of the Bee, p. 42. 

12 



178 RABBI ELIE^ER 

coats ^ of Nimrod, and in his heart he coveted them,^ and 
he slew him,^ and took them from him.^ Whence (do we 
know) that they were desirable in his sight ? Because it 
is said, " And Rebecca took the precious raiment of Esau, 
her elder son " {ihid. xxvii. 15). When he put them on 
he also became, by means of them, a mighty ^ hero, as it is 
said, " And Esau was a cunning hunter " {ibid. xxv. 27). 
And when Jacob went forth ^ from the presence of Isaac, 
his father, he said : Esau, the wicked one, is not worthy to 
wear these coats. What did he do ? He dug in the earth 
and hid them there, as it is said, " A noose ' is hid for him 
in the earth " (Job xviii. 10). 

1 The first editions add : " which the Holy One, blessed be He, made 
for Adam and Eve." 

2 The Venice edition reads, as in our text, " them " ; but the Prague 
edition reads " it " (i.e. one garment). 

* See the Book of Jashar vii. 24, and Pal. Targum, Gen. xxv. zji. 
The wonderful garments of Adam and Eve have a parallel in the seam- 
less tunic of the Founder of Christianity, see A.N.C.L. xvi. pp. 235! 

* See Midrash Agadah, Gen. xxvii. 13 ; Lekach Tob, Gen. p. 06b 
and 07:1; Jalkut, Gen. § 115 ; of. Rashi on T.B. Pesachim, 54b, and 
Tanchuma, Toledoth, § xii. 

* The sentence is wanting in tli^' Oxford MS. (O.A. 167). 

* After receiving the blessing from Isaac. 

' The rest of the verse says, "and a trap for him in the way." 
The garments enabled the wearer to catch the animals. See Pal. 
Targum, Gen xxvii. 15 ; and |alk\it, Gen. § 115. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE SIN OF SODOM [29a. ii.] 

The third descent ^ which He descended ^ || was at Sodom, 
as it is said, " I will go down now and see " (Gen. xviii, 21). 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said : Shall I not ^ tell My 
friend Abraham an important matter which I will do in 
My world in the future, as it is said, " And the Lord said, 
Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do ? " {ibid. 17). 
Rabbi Chanina, son of Dosa,^ said : The Holy One, blessed 
be He, was revealed, and three angels ° (appeared) unto 
our father Abraham, as it is said, " And he lifted up his 
eyes and looked, and, lo, three men " {ibid. 2). He ^ began 
to inform him about the conception ^ of the womb by Sarah 
his wife, as it is said, " I will certainly return unto thee 
when the season cometh round" {ibid. 10). Afterwards He® 
told (him) about the doom^ of Sodom,^'' as it is said, " And 
the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is 
great " {ibid. 20). 

1 See preceding chapter. On the ten descents see Zohar, Gen. 
75a ; Aboth de Rabbi Nathan («) xxxiv. ; Gen. Rab. xxxviii. 9 and xUx. 
; and Jalkut, Gen. § 27 and § 83, and supra, p. 97. note i. 

■^ The first editions read : " which the Holy One, blessed be He, 
descended." 

3 The first editions read : " I will tell." 

* The first editions read here " Chaninah." 

'' According to our book, God with three angels appeared to 
Abraham at Mamre ; see Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, and Nachmanides, in loc. 
(Gen. xviii.). According to Midrash Agadah, Gen. (p. 39), the three 
angels were Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. See also T.B. Joma, 37a, 
and Lekach Tob, Gen. p. 41b. 

^ The first editions read : " One " (angel). 

' On the angelic message to Abraham see T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 86b; Pal. 
Targum to Gen. xviii. 2 ; G:n. Rab. xlvdii. 16 and 1. 2 ; Zohar, Gen. 99a. 

* Instead of " Afterwards," the first editions read : " Another " 
(angel). 

8 Lit. the work, or affair, or business. 
1" The first editions add : " and Gomorrah." 

»79 



180 RABBI ELIEZER 

Hence thou mayest learn : ^ Everyone, who wishes to 
tell his companion a matter which is a disgrace to him, 
begins with a good word '^ and concludes with the evil matter 
which is unpleasant to him. Whence do we learn this ? 
From the Holy One, blessed be He, for when He was revealed 
to our father Abraham, He began to announce to him (the 
good news) concerning the conception by Sarah his wife. 
Afterwards He told him about the fate of Sodom, as it is 
said, " And the Lord said. Because the cry of Sodom and 
Gomorrah is great " {ibid.).^ (Abraham) began to ask for 
compassion before Him on behalf of Lot, the son of his 
brother. He spake before Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! 
Like the death of the wicked shall the death of the || righteous 
be ? (As it is said),"* " Wilt thou consume the righteous ^ 
with the wicked ? " {ibid. 23). The Holy One, blessed be 
He, answered him : Abraham ! *' By the merit of the right- 
eous ' (one) will I forgive Sodom.** " If I find in Sodom 
fifty righteous" {ibid. 26), then will I forgive it all its^ 
sins. 

Hence they i° said : If there be fifty righteous in the 
world, the world exists through their righteousness. 
(Abraham) arose and began to beseech (God), and made 
supplication before Him until he brought (the number 
down to) ten. Hence (the sages said) : ^^ (When there are) 
ten people in a place, the place is delivered by their righteous- 
ness, as it is said, " And he said, I will not destroy it for 
the sake of the ten " {ibid. 32).i2 

1 The first editions read : " they said," i.e. the sages. 

2 This rule still obtains in connection with the public recital of the 
Torah ; see Orach Chayyim, 138. 

3 Tlie first editions omit the repetition of the quotation here. 
*" As it is said " is omitted in the MS. 

* " The righteous " in the Hebrew is in the singular number; this 
fact might suggest the idea that Abraham was referring to Lot. 

« The first editions add : " By thy hfe ! " 

' The first editions read : " By the merit of fifty righteous 
(people)." 

* The first editions read : " as it is said." 
8 The first editions read : " their." 

1° The sages. 

" The first editions read : " Hence the sages said : If there 
be ten righteous people in a place, by their merit the place is 
delivered." 

1- See Gen. Rab. xlix. 13 ; Shocher Tob, Ps. v. p. 26b; and Zohar, 
Gen. 105b. Jer. v. i is the Biblical authority- for the doctrine that 
the merit of the individual procures Divine forgiveness ; cf. Ezek. xiv. 



THE SIN OF SODOM 181 

Rabbi Ze'era said : The men of Sodom were the wealthy 
men of prosperity,^ on account of the good and fruitful 
land 2 whereon they dwelt. For every need which the 
world requires, they obtained therefrom. They procured 
gold therefrom, as it is said, " And it had dust of gold " 
(Job xxvdii. 6). What ^ is the meaning (of the text), " And 
it had dust of gold " ? At the hour when one of them 
wished to buy a vegetable, he would say to his servant, 
Go and purchase for me (for the value of) an assar.'* He 
went and bought (it), and found beneath it heaps of gold ; ** 
thus it is written, "And it had dust of gold"^ (ibid.). 
They obtained silver therefrom, as it is said, " Surely 
there is a mine for silver " {ibid. 1). They procured precious 
stones and pearls thence, as it is said, IJ " The stones thereof 
are the place of sapphires " {ibid. 6). They obtained 
bread therefrom, as it is said, " As for the earth, out of it 
Cometh bread " {ibid. 5). But they did not trust in the 
shadow of their Creator, but (they trusted) in the multitude 
of their wealth," for wealth thrusts aside its owners from the 
fear of Heaven,^ as it is said, " They that trust in their 
wealth " (Ps. xlix. 6).^ 

Rabbi Nathaniel ^° said : The men of Sodom had no con- 
sideration for the honour of their Owner by (not) distributing 

19. The inference as to the salvation of the world by the merit of fifty 
righteous people is derived from God's words in Gen. xviii. 26 : " And 
I will spare for their sake all the place" {i.e. every place). Abraham 
had spoken merely of " the place." 

' The first editions read : " the wealthy men of the world." 
2 Sodom was situated at the right of Jerusalem ; see Ezek. xvi. 
46. The phraseology in our text is borrowed from Num. xiii. 19, 20. 
^ The first editions omit this sentence. 

* Assar = Assarius = y*, of a silver Denar. On this point see 
Krauss, T.A. li. p. 407. The first editions add: "(some) vege- 
tables." 

^ Lit. "full of gold." The first editions read: "gold." See 
T.B. Synhedrin, 109a ; Siphre, Deut. § 43 ; and Tosephta Sotah iii. 
p. 296. 

* See Lev. Rab. v. 2 ; and Jalkut, Job, § 915. The idea of the 
Haggadah seems to be as follows : When the vegetable was bought at 
the cost of an Assar, the dust of the earth which was clinging to the 
vegetable was so valuable (owing to the gold which it contained) that 
the purchaser received back more than he had paid. 

' See Ps. Iii. 9 ; the Midrashim refer this passage to the story of 
Sodom. 

* The first editions read : " thrusts aside from its owners the fear of 
Heaven." 

' See Prov. xxx. 8. 
1" The first editions read : " Joshua, son of Korchah," 



182 RABBI ELIEZER 

food to the wayfarer and the stranger,^ but they (even) 
fenced in - all the trees on top above their fruit so that they 
should not be seized ;» (not) even by the bird of heaven, 
as it is said, " That path no bird of prey knoweth " (Job 
xxviii. 7). 

Rabbi Joshua, son of Korchah,^ said : They appointed over 
themselves judges who were lying judges, and they oppressed 
every wayfarer ^ and stranger who entered Sodom by their 
perverse judgment, and they sent them forth naked, as it is 
said, " They have oppressed the stranger without judgment " 
(Ezek. xxii. 29).^ 

They were dwelling in security without care and at ease, 
without the fear of war from all their surroundings, as it 
is said, " Their houses are safe from fear " (Job xxi. 9).^ 
They were sated with all the produce of the earth, but they 
did not strengthen with the loaf of bread either the hand 
of the needy or of the poor,'^ as it is said, '^ Behold, this 
was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom ; pride, fulness of bread,^ 
and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters ; 
neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy " 
(Ezek. xvi. 49).» || 

Rabbi Jehudah said : They made a proclamation in 
Sodom (saying) : Everyone who strengthens the hand of 
the poor or the needy with a loaf of bread shall be burnt 

'The first editions read : " the native and the stranger" ; see Job 
xxviii. 4. They caused human intercourse with the outside 'world to 
cease. To honour God is to be merciful ; see Prov. iii. 3 and xiv. 31 ; 
T.B. Sabbath, 127a. The men of Sodom did not suffer the birds to 
praise God by singing on the trees in their land. The Book of Jashar 
(.XIX. 7) says : " And when men heard all these things that the people 
of the cities of Sodom did, they refrained from coming there." For 
further stories of cruelty see Pal. Targum on Gen. xviii • and cf 
Rahbimc Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 60 ff. ' 

2 The first editions read : " thev cut of?." 

3 The first editions read : " so that there should not be any benefit 
from them." •' 

* The first editions read " Nathaniel." 

6 Sec the Book of Jashar xix. ? ff. ; T.B. Synhedrin, 109a. 

^ 1 he first editions omit this quotation. 

' The Book of Jashar (xix. 44) reads : "For they (the men of Sodom) 
had abundance of food and had tranquillity amongst them, still they 
would not sustain the poor and needy." 

8 In the MS. the quotation ends here, " etc." being added. 

'Their prosperity led to their rebelHon against God; cf. Hos. 
xui. 6. In the Book of Jashar, cluipier xix., we have two stories 
on the theme of this paragraph ; they are probably variants of one 
tradition. 



THE SIN OF SODOM 183 

by fire. Peletith,^ daughter of Lot, was wedded to one of 
the magnates of Sodom. She saw a certain very ^ poor 
man in the street of the city, and her soul was grieved on 
his account, as it is said, " Was not my soul grieved for 
the needy ? " (Job xxx. 25).=^ What did she do ? Every 
day when she went out to draw water she put in her bucket 
all sorts of provisions from her home, and she fed that poor 
man. The men of Sodom said : How does this poor man 
live ? When they ascertained the facts, they brought her 
forth to be burnt with fire. She said : Sovereign of all 
worlds ! Maintain my right and my cause ^ (at the hands 
of) the men of Sodom. And her cry ascended before the 
Throne of Glory. In that hour the Holy One, blessed be 
He, said : " I will now descend, and I will see " (Gen. xviii. 
21)^ whether the men of Sodom have done according to 
the cry ^ of this young woman, I will turn her founda- 
tions upwards,'^ and the surface thereof shall be turned 
downwards, as it is said, " I will now descend, and I will 
see whether they have done altogether according to her 
cry, which is come unto me " (ibid.). " According to their 
cry " is not written here (in the text), only " According to 
her cry." 

And thus the text savs,^ " He who walketh with wise 

1 See T.B. Synhedrin, 109b. The name Peletith is given by the 
Pal. Targum on Gen. xviii. 21, Book of Jashar xix. 24 ; cf. Gen. Rab. 
xlix. 6; Jalkut, Gen. §83; and Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 63. 
In the Midrash Agadah (Genesis), p. 42. the name of Lot's daughter 
is Kalah. The Oxford MS. (O.A. 167) reads " Paltia." 

2 Lit. " broken," " afflicted," or " humiUated." See J.E. xi. 424. 
^ This quotation is not in the printed texts of P.R.E. 

* Ps. ix. 4 may have suggested the phrase of our text. Luria 
observes that this Psalm might well apply to the story of Sodom. 

' The first editions continue the verse : " whether according to her 
cry which is come unto me." The word in the Hebrew text which the 
R.V. renders " according to the cry of it " is rendered by the Midrash 
literally " according to her cry." 

® Pal. Targum, Gen. xviii. 20 f., reads: "And the Lord said to the 
ministering angels, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, because they 
oppress the poor, and decree that whosoever giveth bread to the needy 
shall be burnt with fire, is therefore great ; and their guilt is exceed- 
ingly heavy. I will now appear, and see whether, as the cry of tlie 
damsel Peletith, which ascendeth before Me, they have completed their 
sins." 

' See Job xxviii. 5. This chapter is applied by our author to the 
story of Sodom. See also Lev. Rab. v. 2 ; and Midrash Haggadol. c. 
282, note 98. 

* Luria reads : " Behold (the text) says." The reading, if rendered 
literally, is : " And thus it (or he) says." 



184 RABBI ELIEZER 

men slmll be wise : but the companion of fools shall be 
broken " (Prov. xiii. 20). || " He who walketh with wise 
men shall be wise." To Avhat is this like ? To one who 
enters a perfumer's shop, although he neither takes any- 
thing nor gives anything,^ nevertheless he absorbs a good 
scent, and goes away (therewith). Like^v^se everyone 
who walks with the righteous acquires some of their 
good ways and deeds. Therefore it is said, " He who 
walketh with wise men shall be ^vise." " But the com- 
panion of fools shall be broken " (ibid.). To what is this 
comparable ? To a man who enters a tannery, although 
he neither takes or gives anything,^ nevertheless he has 
absorbed a foul odour.^ Likewise he who walks with the 
wicked acquires some of their evil ways and deeds, that is 
according to what is written,^ " But the companion of 
fools shall be broken " (ibid.). 

Another explanation : ■* " He who walketh with wise 
men shall be wise " (ibid.). This refers to Lot,'^ who walked 
with our father Abraham, and learned of his good deeds 
and ways. They ^ said : What did oiu- father Abraham 
do ? He made for himself a house opposite to Haran,'' 
and he received everyone who entered into or went out 
from Haran, and he gave him to eat and to drink. He 
said to them : Say ye, The God of Abraham is the only 
one in the universe.^ |] When Lot came to Sodom he did 
likewise. When they made proclamation in Sodom : All 
who strengthen the hand of the poor or need)' with a loaf 
of bread shall be burnt by fire,^ he was afraid of the men of 
the city, (and did not venture) to do so by day, but he did 
it by night, as it is said, " And the two angels came to 
Sodom at even ; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom " (Gen. 

^ Or, " he neither sells nor buys." 

* The first editions add : " and he brings it away with himself." 
' The first editions read : " as it is said." 

* This is missing in the first edition. 

« See Jalkul, Deut. § 824; Midrash, Prov. (ed. Buber), ch. xiii. 
p 3<>b; and Jalkut, Prov. xiii. ij 950. 

* The sages. 

' Cf. Gen. .xii. .\ L Luria suggests that the reading should be 
" Sodom." See Agadath Bercshith, 25 ; Gen. Rab. hi. i and liv. '>; 
Jalkut, Gen. § 84, reads: " outside Haran." 

"The first editions read: "He said to him: There is one God 
in the Universe." 

" See Pal. Targum, quoted supra, p. 183, note 6, 



THE SIN OF SODOM 185 

xix. 1). Why did Lot sit in the gate of Sodom ? 1 Because 
he was afraid of the men of the city, (and did not venture) to 
act (charitably) by day, but he did so by night. He saw the 
two angels walking in the street of the city , and he thought that 
they were wayfarers in the land, and he ran to meet them. 
He said to them : Come and lodge ye overnight in my house, 
eat and drink, and ye shall go your way in peace. But the 
men would not accept this for themselves, and he took them 
by the hand against their will, and brought them inside his 
house, as it is said, " And he urged them greatly " {ibid. 3). 
A certain young man of the people of that city saw them, 
and he ran and told all the men of that city, and they 
all gathered together at the door of the house to do according 
to their wont, even deeds of sodomy,^ as it is said, " And 
they called unto Lot, and said unto him, || Where ^ are the 
men who came to thee to-night ? bring them forth unto us 
that we may know * them " {ibid. 5). What did Lot do ? 
Just as Moses gave his life for the people,^ so Lot ^ gave 
up his two daughters instead of the two angels, as it is 
said, " Behold, now, I have two daughters " {ibid. 8). 
But the men ' would not agree (and did not accept them). 
What did the angels do to them ? They smote them with 
blindness until the dawn of the (next) morning. All were 
treated with (measure for) measure.^ Just as he had taken 

1 The first editions read : " For on that day they had appointed 
him (judge) over themselves. (Lot) overtook them (the angels) and 
said to them," etc. Cf. Esth. v. 13, lor Mordecai who sits in the " king's 
gate," i.e. as a judge ; cf. Sublime Porte for the use of " gate " as a 
court of government or law.^ The MS. seems to have a mistake here ; 
it merely repeats what was stated a few lines previously, without ex- 
plaining why Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. See Pal. Targum, in loc. 

2 The first editions omit " deeds of sodomy." A parallel occurs in 
Ck-ment of Alexandria, P(sd. iii. 8. 

^ The MS. does not give this part of the verse. 

* " Know " in the sense of punishing offenders, cf. Judg. viii. 16 ; 
see Parchon's Heb. Lexicon, s.v. yT ; or perhaps it is used here in the 
sense of carnal knowledge. 

* The first editions read " Israel." See Mekhilta, p. 34b. 

* The first editions read : " So Lot gave his life for them." By 
going out to reason with the men of Sodom, who threatened to deal 
with him according to their wont. 

' Of Sodom. 

* See Pal. Targum, Gen. xix. 24: " And the word of the Lord had 
caused showers of favour to descend upon Sodom and Gomorrah that 
they might repent, but they did not." 

^ Dr. Buchler notes as a parallel the expression xaai nyi of the 
court of the Exilarch of Babylon. 



186 RABBI ELIEZER 

them by the hand without their will and taken them into 
his house, so they took hold of his hand,^ and the hand of 
his wife, and the hand of his two daughters, and took them 
outside the city, as it is said, " But he lingered ; and the 
men laid hold upon his hand " {ibid. 16). And they - said to 
them : ^ Do not look behind you, for verily the Shckhinah 
of the Holy One, blessed be He, has descended in order 
to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and 
fire.^ The pity of 'Edith ^ the wife of Lot was stirred for 
her daughters, who were married in Sodom, ^ and she looked 
back behind her to see if they were coming after her or not. 
And she saw behind " the Shekhinah, and she became a 
pillar of salt, as it is said, " And his wife looked back 
from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt " {ibid. 26).^ 

1 Cf. Gen. xix. i6 ff. Some of the later editions omit the words 
" the hand of his wife." See Mid rash Haggadol, c. 291 f. 

2 The angels. 

=* Lot and his family. The text in Gen. (xix. 17) says, " Do not 
look behind thee " ; note that the singular number is employed. 

* Pal. Targum, Gen. xix. J4, reads : " There are now sent down upon 
them sulphur and fire from before the word of the Lord from Heaven." 
See Zohar, G'.n. 107b f. 

*'The MS. reads either " 'Erith " or " 'Edith." Midrash Haggadol, 
c. 293, has ""Edith." In Jalkut, iw /of., '"Erith " is the reading. 'Edith 
points to '"Ed," witness, for such was the pillar of salt. " Ado " is the 
reading in the Book of Jashar (xix. 52). Pal. Targum. loc. cit. 2h, reads : 
" And his wife looked after the angel to know what would be the end of 
her father's house, for she was of the daughters of the men of Sodom, 
and because she sinned by salt she was manifestly punished ; behold, 
she was made a statue of salt." The Second Version adds: " until the 
time of the resurrection shall come when the dead shall arise." 

® See Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit. 

'' The first editions read : " behind her." 

* The first editions add the following : " And she stands even now. 
All day the oxen lick it and it decreases up to her feet, and in the 
morning (the pillar of salt) grows afresh, as it is said : ' And his wife 
looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt' " (Gen. 
xix, 26). In the days of Maimonides all trace of the pillar had been 
lost. The Book of Jashar (xix. 54) reads : " And the oxen which stood 
in that place daily licked up the salt to the extremities of their feet, 
and in the morning it would spring forth afresh and they again licked 
it up, unto this day." For a paralKl Christian Midrash, .see "A Strain 
of Sodom" in A.N.C.L. xviii. p. 230. See Jalkut, Esth. § 1055; Jalkut, 
Exodus, § 256. See Koran (ed. Rodwcll), Ixxxvii. p. 301, and Josephus, 
Ant. i. II. 4, for references to Sodom. On Lot's wife, see Wisdom x. 
7 ; Cyril of Jerusalem ; Mystagogue's Catechism viii. ; Augustine, de Civ. 
Dei, X. 8. On the Flight from Sodom, see Ambrose, Flight from the World, 
54 ; Gregory the Great, Pastoral Ride, iii. 27. On Lot's hospitality, see 
Chrysostomus, Horn, xxxiii. 2 ; cf. Heb. xiii. 2. See also Griinbaum, 
op, cit. pp. 132 ff., and Ginzb.rg, op. cit. pp. 108 ff. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM [31a. ii.] 

Our father Abraham was tried with ten trials,^ || and he stood 
firm in them all.^ The first trial ^ was when our father 
Abraham was born ; all the magnates of the kingdom * 
and the magicians sought to kill him, and he was hidden 
under the earth ^ for thirteen years without seeing sun or 
moon. After thirteen years ^ he went forth from beneath 

^ See Jubilees xvii. 17 and xix. 8. Parallels to our text are to 
be found in Aboth v. 3 (with a variant reading) ; Aboth de R. Nathan 
{a) xxxiii. and {b} xxxvi. ; Jalkut, Gen. § 68 ; Bock of Jashar xii. ff. ; 
Shocher Tob, Ps. xviii. p. 77a ; Midrash Agadah (Genesis), p. 26; and 
cf. Liturg}' for the Second Day of the New Year, the Piyyut : " Thy 
Word is pure " ; and see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 75, and cf. 
Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 99 f. 

2 The first editions insert here the following : " and it was foreseen 
by him that in the future his children would tempt the Holy One, 
blessed be He, with ten trials, and He anticipated the cure for their 
wound, 1 and He tried him with ten trials." - 

* The Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. cit., does not enumerate this nor the 
second trial. On the order of the trials, see Hoffmann, Mishnajoih. p. 352. 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 49 f., and Jalkut, Gen. loc. 
cit., which reads as our MS. ; and see the Book of Jashar (viii. 15 ff.), 
and Jerahmeel xxxiv. The first editions omit: " and the magicians." 
Instead of " the kingdom " later editions read " Nimrod." The 
magicians were led to persecute Abram by observing his star at his 
birth; see infra, pp. 377 f. ; and cf. Beer, Das Leben Abrahams, 
pp. 98 f. The birth stories of Abraham, Moses (cf. Josephus, Ant. 
ii. 9. 2, and T.B. Sotah, 12a), and Jesus have much in common except 
the " Virgin Birth," which is peculiar to the narrative concerning the 
birth of the founder of Christianity. 

'' Lit. " in a house of the earth," i.e. a cave. Cf. Isa. xU. 2 and 
the Book of Jashar viii. 35. 

* The Midrashim differ on this point; see Gen. Rab. xxxviii. 12, 
xcv. 3 ; Cant. Rab. on Cant. ii. 5. See the Book of Jashar ix. 4; and 
R. Bechai on Gen., in loc. See also T.B. Nedarim, 32a ; Est. Rab. 
ii. 5 ; and generally for the legends of Abraham, see Ginzberg, The 

1 See T.B. Megillah, 13b. 

2 In Aboth de R. Nathan, loc. cit., the ten plagues in Egypt are 
referred to as a parallel to the ten trials. See also Jalkut, Ps. § 777. 

187 



188 RABBI ELIEZER 

the earth, speaking the holy language ; ^ and he despised 
idols 2 and held in abomination the graven images, and 
he trusted in the shadow of his Creator, and said : ^ 
" Blessed is the man who trusts in thee " (Ps. Ixxxiv. 12). 

The second trial was when he was put into prison for 
ten years — three years in Kuthi,"* seven years in Budri.-^ 
After ^ ten years they sent and brought him forth and 
cast him into the furnace of fire," and the King of 
Glory ^ put forth His right hand ^ and delivered him 
from the furnace of fire, as it is said, " And he said to 
him, I am the Lord who brought thee out of the furnace ^^ 
of the Chaldees " (Gen. xv. 7). Another verse (says), 
" Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, 
and broughtest him forth out of the furnace of the 
Chaldees " (Neh. ix. 7).ii 

The third trial was his migration ^^ from his father's 
house 1^ and from the land of his birth ; and He brought him to 

Legends of the Jews. i. pp. 1S5 ff., and Gorion's Die Sngen der Juden. ii. 
pp. 26 ff. For further references see Beer, op. cit. pp. 102 f . Our book 
relates that Abraham was in his fourteenth year when he abandoned 
idol worship. This agrees with Jubilees xi. 16, which also speaks of hi? 
learning writing. OurauLiior varies this by referring to his knowledge 
of the Holy language. Jubilees xii. 25, 26, however, refers to Abraham's 
ability to speak Hebrew. 

* See Gen. Rab. xlii. 8. 

" The first editions read : " groves." 

^ The first editions add : " O Lord of Hosts." This is part of the 
verse quoted. See the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew vi. {A.N.C.L. xvi. 
p. 23) for a parallel Christian jMidrash. 

■* The first editions read Kutha, which is identified by the Talmud 
{B. Baba Bathra, 91a) with the Casdim ; see also Josephus, Ant. i. 
6. 5 and i. 7. i. 

'6 Cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, loc. cit.. and Jalkut, Gen. § 77. The first 
editions read Kardi ; for the variant spellings see Jastrow, T.D. I4r2a. 
Probably our MS. should read Kudri. See also Hi])polyius (ed. 
Achelis), p. 90. 

* In the first editions the reading is : " Some say three years in 
Kardi and seven years in Kutha." 

' See Rahbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 52 ff., and cf. Pal. Targnm, 
Gen. xi. 28. See also infra, p. 420. 

* See T.B. Pesachim, ii8a. and Cant. Rab. on Cant. i. i. 
'* See Gen. Rab. xliv. 4. 

**• niN (Ur), "furnace." Cf. Isa. xliv. iT. and Griiiibaum, op. cit. 
pp. 90 ff., and see Introduction, p. li. 

" This quotation is omitted by the printed texts. It forms part of 
the morning liturgy ; see Singer, p. 34. 

'^ See Jubilees xvii. 17. This trial is the first according to the Mid- 
rash Haggadol, Gen. c. 201. 

'^ From Ur of the Chaldees, his country. This agrees with Ibn 
Ezra's interpretation of the text, Gen. xii. i. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 189 

Haran,^ and there his father Terah died,- and Athrai ^ his 
mother.^ Migration is harder for man than for any other 
creature.^ Whence do we know of his migration ? Because 
it is said, " Now the Lord said 1| unto Abram, Get thee out " 
(Gen. xii. l).^ 

The fourth trial (was the famine). From the day when 
the heavens and the earth were created, the Holy One, 
blessed be He, had not brought into the world a famine 
but only in the days of Abraham,' and not in any of 
the lands but only in the land of Canaan,^ in order to 
try him and to bring him down into Egypt, as it is said, 
" And there was a famine in the land, and Abram went 
down into Egypt " (ibid. 10). 

The fifth trial was when Sarah his ^vife was taken to 
Pharaoh to be (his) wife. And is there any man, who 
seeing his wife taken away to another man, would not rend 
his garments ? But (he trusted in the Holy One, blessed 
be He,) that he would not approach her.^ Whence do we 
know that Sarah was taken to Pharaoh to be his wife ? 
Because it is said, " And the jDrinces of Pharaoh saw her " 
{ibid. 15).io 

Rabbi Joshua, son of Korchah,^^ said : In that night when 
our mother Sarah was taken, it was Passover night,^- and 

^ Luria thinks that the text should continue : " as it is said : 
' Get thee out of thy land and from thy birthplace ' " (Gen. xii. i). 

- See Seder 'Olam Rab. i. p. 2b, note 22, and p. 3a, note 24. 

3 The 2nd ed. reads Amathlai ; see T.B. Baba Bathra, 91a. and 
Beer, op. cit. pp. 96 f. 

* See T.B. Baba Bathra, loc. cit. 

* Cf. T.B. Kethuboth, 28a, based on Isa. xxii. 17; see also T.B. 
Synhedrin, 26a, and Jalkut on Isa. § 280. Perhaps the last words of 
the sentence in our text should read : " than anything else." The 
reading in the Midrash Haggadol, Gen., loc. cit., is : " which was the 
hardest of all " (the trials). 

* The first editions continue the quotation. 

' This does not agree with Gen. Rab. xxv. 3, according to which 
there were two famines prior to the days of Abraham. 

* See Rashi, Gen. xii. 10. 

' The words in brackets are missing in our MS. ; they are based on 
Luria's emendation. The first editions read : " But in accordance with 
her counsel he did not approach her." 

1" The printed texts omit the question and answer. The rest of the 
quotation reads : ' ' And they praised her to Pharaoh : and the woman 
was taken into Pharaoh's house." 

1^ The first editions read : " Rabbi Tarphon." This agrees with the 
reading preserved in the Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 208 f. 

'- See supra, p. i ^t,, for a similar expression in connection with the 
offering of Cain and Abel ; of. Zohar, Gen. 21b, 22a. 



190 RABBI ELIEZER 

the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon Pharaoh and 
upon his house great plagues,^ to make known - that thus 
in the future would He smite the people of his land,^ as it 
is said, " And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house 
with great plagues " (ibid. 17). Concerning the Egyptians 
it is written, " Yet one plague more will I bring upon 
Pharaoh, and upon Egypt " (Ex. xi. 1). Was this a 
plague ? Was it not (the slaying of) the first-born of the 
Egyptians ? But the slaying is compared with the plagues, 
therefore it is said, " And the Lord plagued \\ Pharaoh " 
(Gen. xii. 17).'» 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : Because of his love for 
her, (Pharaoh) ^ wrote in her marriage document (giving her) 
all his wealth,^ whether in silver, or in gold, or in man- 
servants, or land,^ and he wrote (giving) her the land of 
Goshen for a possession. Therefore the children of Israel 
dwelt in the land of Goshen, in the land of their mother 
Sarah.^ He (also) wrote (giving) her Hagar, his 
daughter ^ from a concubine, as her handmaid. And 
whence do we know that Hagar was the daughter of 
Pharaoh ? ^^ Because it is said, " Now Sarai Abram's 
wife bare him no children ; and she had an handmaid, an 
Egyptian, whose name was Hagar" {ibid. xvi. 1). Pharaoh 
rose up early in the morning confused ^^ because he had not 
approached her,^- and he sent and called Abraham, and 
said to him : Behold, Sarai thy wife is before thee, and all 
the deeds of her marriage contract are with her, take (her) 

1 Cf. Jalkut, Gen. § 68. 

- The Venice edition reads : " to make known to him." 
^ The first editions read : " the Egyptians with great plagues." 
■* This entire section from "Concerning" is omitted in the printed 
texts. On the subject-matter see Midrash Agadah (Gen.), p. 47. 

* " Pharaoh " is missing in the MS. ; it occurs in the first editions. 

« Lit. " his Mammon." On this term sec Jewish Sources of the 
Sermon on the Mount, p. 16 >. 

' jalkut, loc. lit., adds : " maid-servants." 

* The first editions read : " which belonged to our mother 
Sarah." Have we an apology on behalf of Jews, who in the days 
of our author were living in Egypt, claiming to be in their own land ? 

* See Pal. Targum, Gen. xvi. i, and Gen. Rab. xlv. i., and the Book 
of the Bee, p. 42. 

"> The first editions read : " Hagar the Egyptian was an hand- 
maid ? " See Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 208, and c. 241. 

^' The first editions add : " and agitated." 

12 The first editions read : " Sarah." The various incidents are 
based on the story of Abimelcch's conduct in a similar instance. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 191 

and go, do not tarry in this land, as it is said, " Now 
therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go " (ibid. xii. 19).^ 
" And Pharaoh gave men charge concerning him,^ and they 
sent him forth " {ibid. 20). And he had Abraham led 
so as to come*^ to the land of Canaan. He sojourned in 
the land of the Philistines * in order to be refreshed 
there. And he went away. And everything is foreseen 
by the Holy One, blessed be He, and Abimelech ^ sent 
and took Sarah, thinking to raise up children from her, 
as it is said, " And Abimelech . . . sent, and took Sarah " 
(ibid. XX. 2). 

And Abimelech became impotent, and all the women of 
his house became barren,^ even || to the smallest insect (which 
also became) barren, as it is said, " For the Lord had fast 
closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech " (ibid. 
18). And the angel Michael descended and drew his sword 
against him." Abimelech said to him : Is this a true 
judgment and a true sentence to slay me as long as I had 
no knowledge ? ^ " Wilt thou slay even a righteous 
nation ? " {ibid. 4).^ He said unto him : ^^ " Restore the 

^ The first editions add : " And it is written after this (text)." 
2 The quotation ends here. See Pal. Targum, in loc. The first 
editions add : " Whatever he gave to Sarah, Abimelech gave to Abram, 
as it is said, ' And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and menservants 
and womenservants ' " (Gen. xx. 14). 

* The first editions read : " And he had Abram led (so a;.) to come 
in the land of Canaan as far as the land of the Philistines." 

* Luria thinks that the reading of our text was originally thus : 
" Let us pass over the narrative of Abraham, from his entrance into 
Egypt till he came to the land of the Philistines ; all this story will 
be narrated farther on in this book." Our MS. preserves apparently 
a better reading. 

^ Luria holds that the text should read : " As far as the land of 
the Philistines, and (here) Abimelech sent and took Sarah, thinking 
that he would be enabled to acquire children from her ; but everything 
is revealed before the Holy One, blessed be He, Michael descended," 
etc. Our MS. seems to have preserved the true text. 

* See T.B. Baba Kamma, 92a. The MS. adds : " and even Michael 
(came before) Abimelech." The words are out of place, and are wanting 
in the Oxford MS. 

' The first editions add : " to slay him." For the narrative see 
Pesikta Rabbatln, p. 176b ; and cf. Liturgy for the Second Day of the 
New Year (ed. Heidenheim), p. 33a, where tlie ten trials are enumerated; 
and cf. T.B. Baba Kamma, loc. cit., and R.Is.J., Ixviii. p. 147. 

* The first editions read : " to slay me for a matter which I did not 
know, as it is said." 

* The first editions add : " Verily he said unto me : ' She is my 
sister' " (Gen. xx. 2). 

" Abimelech. 



192 RABBI ELIEZER 

man's wife, for he is a prophet " {ibid. 7).^ " And he 
shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live " {ibid.). 

Rabbi Joshua, son of Korchah, (rehearsed) before Rabbi 
Tarphon (saying) : Whatever Pharaoh gave, he gave to 
Sarah ; whatever Abimelech gave, he gave to Abraham ; as 
it is said, " And Abimelech took sheep and oxen " {ibid. 
14).'- Abraham arose and prayed before the Holy One, 
blessed be He, and said before Him : Sovereign of all the 
worlds ! Thou hast created the whole world to increase 
and multiply, and let Abimelech and all the females of his 
household increase and multiply. The Holy One, blessed 
be He, was entreated of him, as it is said, " And Abraham 
prayed ^ unto God : and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, 
and his maidservants;^ and they bare children" {ibid. 17). 

1 The first editions add here: "From thee one may learn, if a 
man come to a town, let people ask him concerning his requirements 
of food, but let them not inquire after his wife." See T.B. Maccoth, 
gb, and T.B. Baba Kamma, 92b. 

2 The text continues : " and gave them unto Abraham." The 
entire sentence is wanting in the first editions. The section seems out 
of place here. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* The first editions read : " his household." The legend of Abram 
in the furnace was known to Augustine, de Civ. Dei. xvi. 13. The 
incident with Sarah and Abimelech is discussed by Chrj'sostomus, To 
Olympias, iii. 3 ; Theodoret, On Divine Providence, x. Augustine, de 
Civ. Dei, xvi. 19, defends Abraham's conduct and praises him in this 
connection. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM (continued) [32a. i.] 

The sixth trial ^ was (when) all the kings ^ came against 
him 3 to slay him.^ They said : Let us first begin with the 
house ^ of his brother, and afterwards let us begin with him.^ 
On account of Lot they took all (the wealth of) ^ Sodom 
and Gomorrah,® as it is said, " And they took all the goods 
of Sodom and Gomorrah " || (Gen. xiv. 11). Afterwards 
they took Lot captive, and all his wealth, as it is said, 
" And they took Lot . . . and ^ his goods " (ibid. 12). 

Michael came and told Abraham, as it is said, " And 
there came one who had escaped, and told Abram ^"^ the 
Hebrew" {ibid. 13). He^^ is the prince of the world, he 
was the one who told, as it is said, " Curse not the king, 
no, not in thy thought ; . . , he who hath wings shall tell 
the matter " (Eccles. x. 20). Why was his name called 
"Palit" ("One who had escaped")? Because in the hour 
when the Holy One, blessed be He, caused Sammael and 

^ According to Mid rash Agadah, Gen. p. 26, this incident is not 
enumerated among the ten trials of Abraham. A good deal of the 
material of this chapter is preserved in Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 
214 ff. ; especially cols. 217 and 218. 

2 Amraphel and his allies mentioned in Gen. xiv. i. Amraphel 
is identified with Nimrod in T.B. "Erubin, 53a. See Gen. Rab. xlii. 4. 

' See Jalkut, Gen. § 68, which has used P.R.E. 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, y5b. 

^ The first editions read : " with the son of his brother." The 
reference is to Lot. 

* See Lekach Tob and Agadath Bereshith on Gen. xiv. 1 1. 

' Our MS. omits " the wealth of " ; it occurs in the first editions; 
see also for similar text, Midrash Haggadol, Gen. c. 216. 
8 See Gen. Rab. xlii. 7. 

* The MS. reads : " and all his goods " ; the word " all " is not in the 
actual quotation. 

1" See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 182. 

" i.e. Michael. See Midrash Haggadol, Gen., loc. cit., which has a 
better text : "for he discloses all the secrets of the world," 



194 RAEBI ELIEZER 

his band to descend from heaven from their holy place, ^ 
he caught hold of the wings of Michael to make him fall - 
with himself, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saved ^ him 
from his power ; ■* therefore was his name called " The one 
who had escaped." ^ Concerning him Ezekicl said, " One 
who had escaped ^ out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, 
The city is smitten " (Ezek. xxxiii. 21). 

Abraham rose up early in the morning, and he took his 
three disciples, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, with him, and 
Eliezcr ' his servant with him (also), and he pursued after 
them as far as Dan, which is Pameas,^ as it is said, " And 
he pursued as far as Dan " (Gen. xiv. 14). And there the 
righteous man ^ was hindered, for there it was told him : 
Abraham, know thou that in the future ^'^ thy children's 
children will serve idols in this place ; therefore was he 
hindered there. Whence do we know that Israel served 
idols there ? Because it is said, " And he made two calves 
of gold . . . and he set the || one ^^ in Bethel, and the other put 
he in Dan " (1 Kings xii. 28, 29). There he left his three 
disciples,i2 ^nd he took his servant Eliezer. The numerical 
value of the letters of his name equals 318.^3 jje pursued 

> See supra, pp. 46, 92, 99. 

2 " With him " is added by the'Arukh, ed. Kohut, vi. p. 340b. 

^ths, hence B^"?!! (Paht). 

* Lit. " hand." See Assumption of Moses x. i, 2 for the final con- 
flict b twe en Michael and SatEin. Cf. Jude 9. 

' Palit. The title of Michael as Palit (e'Vs) may possibly be due to 
an abbreviated form of his other title of Praklit (a''7pi3j ; see Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, p. 74. 

* See Pal. Targum, Gen. xiv. 13. 

' The first editions read : " three disciples and EUezer his servant." 

* See T.B. Megillah, 6a, Bechoroth, 55a, and 'Arukh, ed. Kohut, vi. 
p. 369b ; and cf . Targum to Cant. v. 4. 

* Abraham. 

^o See T.B. Synhedrin, 96a ; and Pal. Targum, Gen. xiv. 14. 

" The calf of gold. 

I'' See T.B. Nedarim, 32a ; Gen. Rab. xhii. 2 ; Agadath Bereshith, 
13; and cf. Tanchuma, Lekh Lekha, § ix. The first editions add: 
" and their wives with them." 

13 This Haggadah was known to Clement of Alexandria, whose book 
The Miscellanies, vi. 11, states: "As then in astronomy we have 
Abraham as an instance, so also in arithmetic we have the same 
Abraham. For, hearing that Lot was taken captive, and having 
numbered his own servants born in his house, 318, he defeats a very 
great number of the enemy." See also the Epistle of Barnabas ix., 
where the " 318 " is interpreted as a Christian Midrash. See Siegfried, 
Philo von Alexandria, p. 330, and Gudemann, Religionsgeschichtliche 
Studien, pp. 119-121. Other Rabbinic parallels are Pal. Targum, Gen., 
he. cit., and Posikta Rabbathi, § xviii. p. 91 h. The first editions add 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 195 

them as far as the left of Damascus,^ as it is said, " And 
he pursued them unto Hobah " (Gen. xiv. 15). 

Samuel the Younger said : There the night was divided 
for him ; (the night) when the children of Israel went 
forth out of Egypt,- that was the night in which Abraham 
smote the kings and their camps with them, as it is said, 
"And he divided himself against them by night, he and his 
servants " (ibid.).^ 

Hillel the Elder said : Abraham took all the wealth of 
Sodom and Gomorrah and all the wealth of Lot, the son of 
his brother, and he returned in peace,'* and not even one of 
his men failed ^ him, as it is said, " And he brought back 
all ^ the goods, and also his brother Lot " {ibid. 16)." 

Rabbi Joshua ® said : Abraham was the first to begin 
to give a tithe. He took all the tithe of the kings and all 
the tithe of the wealth of Lot, the son of his brother, and 
gave (it) to Shem,^ the son of Noah, as it is said, " And 
he gave him a tenth of all " {ibid. 20). 

after 318: "He led forth his trained men, born in his house" (Gen. 
xiv. 14). There are also variations in the next quotation, according to 
our MS. and the first editions respectively. 

1 See Gen. xiv. 15. 

2 The first editions read : " That is the night which was from of 
old, that is the night in which He smote the first-born of the Egyptians." 
This night was destined from the beginning, prepared for the victories 
of Abraham and his seed, see Mekhilta, p. 1 3a ; G n. Rab. xliii. 3 ; and cf . 
infra, pp. 201 , 402. The night itself was divided, one-half being spent 
in the days of Abraham in gaining victory, and the other half of the 
night was destined to be reserved for the victory of God over Egypt at 
the Exodus. See Wisdom xviii. 6. 

* The first editions add : " And concerning this (night) it is said : 
' And it came to pass at midnight ' " (Ex. xii. 29). See Pal. Targum, 
Gen. xiv. i 5. 

* This is based on the Haggadic interpretation of Isa. xli. 3. See 
Pal. Targum, Gen. xiv. 16, and cf. T.B. Sjoihedrin, io8b; Zohar, Gen. 
26a, and Gen. Rab., loc. cit. 

* For the word in the text see 2 Sam. xvii. 22. Luria interprets : 
" nothing of the wealth was missing." 

* Our MS. omits " all." 

' The first editions add here : " Abraham was afraid, and said : 
Perchance I have slain all these troops (or, multitude), and no righteous 
person can be found among them. The Holy One, blessed be He, said 
to him: ' Fear not, Abram ' (Geii. xv. i). With reference to this it is 
said : ' He pursueth them and passeth on -safely, even by a way that 
he had not gone with his feet ' (Isa. xU. 3). It has not come on thy foot 
to soil thee in this matter." See Shocher Tob, p. 233b. 

* The first editions add : " son of Korchah." 

* He was the chief priest then; see supra, pp. 53 f., and cf. J.E. 
xi. 261 f. As we have seen, P.R.E. identifies Shem with Melchizedek ; 
see Jubilees xiii. 25, especially Charles' note on pp. 100 f. 



196 RABBI ELIEZER 

Shem, the son of Noah, came forth to meet him,^ and when 
he saw all the deeds which he had done and all the wealth 
which he had brought back, || he wondered in his heart. 
He began to praise, to glorify, and to laud the name of 
the Most High, saying : " And blessed be God the Most 
High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand " 
{ibid.). Abraham arose and prayed before the Holy One, 
blessed be He, saying : Sovereign of all worlds ! Not by 
the power of my hand, nor by the power of my right hand 
have I done all these things, but by the power of Thy right 
hand with which Thou dost shield me in this world and in 
the world to come, as it is said, " But thou, O Lord, art 
a shield about me " (Ps. iii. 3) in this world ; " my glory, 
and the lifter up of mine head" (ibid.)^ in the world to 
come.^ The angels answered and said : Blessed art Thou, 
O Lord, the shii Id of Abraham.* 

' With bread and wine ; see Gen. xiv. i8. 

2 The first editions read : " ' But thou, O Lord, art a shield about 
me ; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head ' (Ps. iii. 3) in the world 
to come." 

^ See next chapter. According to the Midrash, Ps. ex. refers to 
Abraham; see Shocher Tob, pp. 2^<a, b. 

* See Singer, p. 44. These angelic words form the end of the 
first benediction of the Shemoneh 'Esreh. Other chapters of P.R.E. 
terminate with the last words of other benedictions of this Prayer. 
This fact is not mentioned in the annotated edition of Singer's Prayer 
Book. From this aspect our book forms a Midrash on the Shemoneh 
'Esreh. See Rokeach, 322, and G^n. Rab. xli\. 4. See al o Snach (h. 
X.*) in A. and P. i. p. 515. Tiie last chapter of our book probably 
ended with the words printed in the "contents of the chapters" in 
the Venice edition (1544) and in later editions thus: "Blessed art 
Thou, O Lord, who healest the sick of Thy people Israel." This is 
the eighth benediction of the Shemoneh 'Esreh. See Singer, p. 47. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM (continued) 

The Vision between the Pieces [32b. ii.] 

The seventh trial (was as follows) : " After these things 
the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying " 
(Gen. XV. 1). To all the prophets He was revealed in a 
vision,^ but to Abraham He was revealed ^ in a revelation 
and in a vision. Whence do we know of the revelation ? 
Because it is said, " And the Lord appeared unto him by 
the oaks of Mamre " (ibid, xviii. 1). Whence do we know of 
the vision ? Because it is said, " After these things the word 
of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision " {ibid. xv. 1). 
He said to him : Abraham ! Do not fear, for My right hand 
is shielding thee in every place where thou goest ; ^ it is like 
a shield * against misfortunes, and it gives thee a good 
reward, (even) to thee and to thy children, || in this world and 
in the world to come, as it is said, " Thy exceeding great 
reward " {ibid.) J" 

^ The first editions add : " he appeared in a vision of the night." 
Instead of reading " of the night," Luria holds that the reading should 
be, "or in a revelation." This passage was possibly the authority 
used by Maimonides in dealing with the subject of prophecy ; see his 
Hilkhoth Jesode Ha-Torah vi. 2 and 6. For Luria's suggested reading see 
Lev. Rab. i. 4. On " vision and revelation" see Gen. Rab. xliv. (>. 

^ The first editions read : " but to Abraham in a vision and in a 
revelation. Whence do we know of the vision ? Because it is said : 
' In a vision saying, Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield ' (Gen. xv. i) 
in this world ; ' thy exceeding great reward ' {ibid.) in the world to 
come." See Pal. Targum, in loc, and Gen. Rab., loc. cit. 

^ Cf. Isa. xli. 10, 13. 

*Cf. Abothiv. 15. 

* The Midrashim and Pal. Targum (Gen. xv. i) interpret the fear 
of Abraham as implying that his victory was his entire recompense 
for his life's devotion to the cause of God. This would be covered by 
the word of the text, " Thy reward " ; " exceeding great " would imply 
the reward in the future life. 

»97 



198 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi ^ said : The Holy One, blessed be He, brought 
Abraham outside (his house) on the night of Passover,'- 
and He said to him : Abraham ! Hast thou the ability to 
count all the host of heaven ? He said before Him : 
Sovereign of all worlds ! Is there then a limit to Thy 
troops ^ (of angels) ? He said to him : Likewise thy seed 
shall not be counted owing to their great number, as it 
is said, " And he said unto him, So shall thy seed be " 
{ibid. 5).* 

Rabbi Eliezer ^ said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
showed to our father Abraham (at the covenant) between 
the pieces ® the four kingdoms, their dominion and their 
downfall, as it is said, " And he said unto him, Take me an 
heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old " 
{ibid. 9). " An heifer of three years old " {ibid.) refers to the 
kingdom of Edom," which is like the heifer of a sheep. 
" And a she-goat of three years old " {ibid.) refers to 
the kingdom of Greece,^ as it is said, " And the he-goat 
magnified himself exceedingly " (Dan. viii. 8). " And a 
ram of three years old " (Gen. xv. 9) ; this is the kingdom 
of Media and Persia, as it is said, " And the ram which 
thou sawest that had the two horns, they are the kings of 
Media and Persia " (Dan. viii. 20). " And a turtle-dove 



5> 



1 i.e. Jehudah the Prince. The first editions read : " Rabbi 
Jehudah." 

^ The attack of Amraphel was also on the Passover night ; see 
Pal. Targum, Gen. xi\-. i ^, and cf. Passover Haggadah Oz Rob Nissim 
and the poem Omez Geburathekha. The chief references for these 
traditions are : Mekhilta, Bo, p. 3;! ; Pal. Targum on Ex. xii. 42, trans- 
lated in Rabbinic I'hilosophy and Ethics, pp. 164 f. See also Seder 'Olam 
Rab. V. T. p. lib. Is there perhaps a reference h re to the triennial 
reading of the Law, this section in Genesis being read on Passover ? 

' This is based on Job xxv. 3 ; see T.B. Chagigah, 13b, and Siphre, 
Numb. § 42. 

* The rest of this chapter is missing in Luria's edition. It is to be 
found in the old editions, e.g. Venice, Prague, Amsterdam. There is 
no reason to dispute its authenticity. The Censor is probably respon- 
sible for Luria's omission. His book was printed in Warsaw. 

^ The first editions read '"Akiba." 

* See Gen. xv. 9 ff. For a Christian Midrash on this theme see 
Methodius, Banquet oj the Ten Virgins, v. 2. 

' The Roman Empire is referred to under this designation. Some 
of the old editions read, " Seir." " Edom " is the usual term for the 
Roman Empire. MS. Gaster adds: "This is the lourth Kingdom." 

^ On the kingdoms, Greece and Rome, see 4 Ezra v. 3 ; Rev. xvii. ; 
Lactantius, Divme Institutes, vii. 15. " In the Johannine Apocalypse," 
says Bousset, Antichrist, E.T., p. 126, "the Roman Empire is plainly 
enough indicated as the last anti-Christian power." 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 199 

(Gen. XV. 9) ; this refers to the sons of Ishmael.i xhis 
expression is not to be understood in the Hteral meaning 
of Tor (turtle-dove), but in the Aramaic language, in which 
Tor means Ox, for when the male ox is harnessed to the 
female, they will open and break all the valleys,^ even as 
it says (about) " the fourth beast " (Dan. vii. 19).3 " And 
a young pigeon " (Gen. xv. 9) ; this refers to the Israelites, 
who are compared || to a young pigeon, as it is said, " O my 
dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock " (Cant. ii. 14). For 
thy voice is pleasant in prayer, and thy appearance is beauti- 
ful in good deeds. " And a young pigeon " (Gen. xv. 9) ; this 
refers to the Israelites, who are compared to a young pigeon : 
" My dove, my perfect (one), is (but) one " (Cant. vi. 9).* 

Rabbi Acha ben Jacob said : This expression, " three 
years old" (Gen. xv. 9), is said only with reference to the 
mighty in power, as it is said, " And a threefold cord is 
not quickly broken " (Eccles. iv. 12).^ 

Rabbi Mesharshyah ^ said : (Three years old) refers to 
a threefold (dominion) which they would exercise three 
times in the future in the land of Israel. At the first time 
each one would rule by himself ; at the second time two 
together (would rule) ; on the third occasion (all) altogether 
to fight against the house of David,^ as it is said, " The 

1 The Mohammedan Empire. Is this an indication of the date 
of our bo^k ? It fixes a limit, in the sense that it must have been 
written after the rise of the Mohammedan Empire. We shall have 
ground for asserting that the beginning of the ninth century is 
probably the earliest date of the final redaction of our book. 

2 See Gen. Rab. Ixxvi. 6. The first editions read : " they will open 
and break the (clods of) all the valleys. For phraseology of. Isa. xxviii. 
24: "to open and break the clods " of the ground. The next words 
about the fourth beast are not in the printed editions. 

^ The entire passage in the first editions reads thus : " This (ex- 
pression) Tor (turtle dove) is not said here in the language of the 
Torah {i.e. Hebrew), but in the Aramaic language. Tor is the ox, and 
when the male ox is harnessed to the female they will open and break 
(the ground of) all the valleys." 

* The Oxford MS. (O.A. 1O7) reads: "Another explanation. 'A 
young pigeon ' refers to Israel, as it is said, ' My dove, my perfect (one), 
is (but) one ' " (Cant. vi. 9). 

* The Oxford MS. (O.A. 167) reads : " Rabbi Acha ben Jacob said : 
What is the meaning of this expression, ' three years old ' ? It refers to 
the mighty in power, (who are) like a threefold cord, as it is said," etc. 
On R. Acha ben Jacob, see J.E. i. p. 278. 

* There were several teachers so named ; J.E. viii. 502b gives one 
only. 

"7 Messianic wars are referred to here. The first editions read : 
" to fight against the Son of David." 



200 RABBI ELIEZER 

kings of the earth set themselves,^ and the rulers take 
counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed " 
(Ps. ii. 2). 

Rabbi Joshua said : Abraham took his sword and divided 
them, eaeh one into two parts, as it is said, " And he took 
him all these, and he divided them in the midst " (Gen. 
XV. 10). Were it not for the fact that he divided them, the 
world would not have been able to exist, but because he 
divided them, he weakened their strength, and he brought 
each part against its corresponding part, as it is said, " And 
he laid each half over against the other " (ibid.). And the 
young pigeon he left alive, as it is said, " But the bird he 
divided not " (ibid.). Hence thou mayest learn that there 
was not any other bird there excejat a young pigeon. ^ The 
bird of prey came down upon them || to scatter them and to 
destroy them.^ " The bird of prey " is nought else but 
David, the son of Jesse,* who is compared to a " speckled 
bird of prey," as it is said, " Is mine heritage unto me as a 
speckled bird of prey ? " (Jer. xii. 9). 

When the sun was about to rise in the east, Abraham sat 
down and waved his scarf over them, so that the bird of 
prey should not prevail over them until the raven came.^ 

Rabbi Ela?ar ben 'A?ariah said : From this incident thou 
mayest learn that the rule of these four kingdoms will only 
last one day ^ according to the day of the Holy One, blessed 
be He. Rabbi Ela?ar ben 'Arakh said unto him : Verily it 
is so, according to thy word, as it is said, " He hath made 
me desolate and faint all the day " (Lam. i. 13), except for 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

2 The first editions read : " Hence thou mayest learn that the 
word Zippor in the Torah means only a young pigeon." 

^ Pal. Targ. Gen. xv. ii reads: "And there came down people 
who were like unto an unclean bird, to steal away the sacrifices of Israel ; 
but the merit of Abram was a shield over them." 

* The first editions read : " is nought else but the Son of David." 
See Hastings' D.B. iv. p. 6ioa, on " the speckled bird." This passage, 
in its Messianic interpretation, has escaped the notice of Schottgen. 

* The first editions read : " until evening set in." This seems a 
better reading. Cf. Jubilees xi. ii. 

' The one day of God is looo yeai's, see supra, p. 128. Do the four 
kingdoms referred to by Daniel begin with the Greek persecutions under 
Antiochus Epiphanes, 168 b.c.e., so that the end of these hostile king- 
doms was to be expected about 1000 years later, i.e. about 832 c.e. ? If 
so, this is another indication as to the date of our book. It would not 
be later than this date (832 c.e.). Accordingly, we may fix the date 
of its final redaction in the early years of the ninth century. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 201 

two-thirds of an hour (of God). Know that it is so. Come 
and see, for when the sun turns to set in the west, (during) 
two hours 1 its power is weakened,^ and it has no Hght, 
likewise whilst the evening has not yet come, the light of 
Israel shall arise,^ as it is said, " And it shall come to pass, 
that at evening time there shall be light " (Zech. xiv. 7). 

Abraham arose and prayed before the Holy One, blessed 
be He, that his children should not be enslaved by these 
four kingdoms. A deep sleep fell upon him, and he slept, 
as it is said, " A deep sleep fell upon Abram " (Gen. xv. 
12). Does then a man lie down and sleep, and yet be able 
to pray ? But this teaches thee that Abraham was lying 
down and sleeping because of the intensity of his prayer 
that his children might enslave || these four kingdoms,^ as it 
is said, " And, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon 
him " (ibid.).^ " Horror " refers to the kingdom of Edom, 
as it is written, " And behold a fourth beast, terrible and 
powerful, and strong exceedingly " (Dan. vii. 7). "Dark- 
ness " is the kingdom ^ of those who darken the eyes of 
Israel (by preventing the observance of) all the precepts 
which are in the Torah. " Great " (Gen. xv. 12) refers to the 
kingdom of Media and Persia, which was great (enough to 
be able to afford) to sell Israel for nought.^ "Fell" (ibid.) 
refers to the kingdom of Babylon, because in their hand fell 
the crown ^ of Israel, as it is said, " Babylon is fallen, is 
fallen " (Isa. xxi. 9). " Upon him " (Gen. xv. 12) refers to the 

1 The first editions read : " two-thirds of an hour." 

2 The 1st ed. reads : " remain over." The Venice edition omits 
this and reads instead : " it is dark and it has no hght." The words 
" it is dark " is an error, and should be " its strength fails." 

^ The first editions read: "the Son of David will cause the light of 
Israel to arise." Cf. the use of " Zemach " (Dayspring) as a Messianic 
title in Hellenism and Christianity, pp. iig f. 

* The first editions read here : " that his children might escape 
these four kingdoms." In the preceding words the first editions read : 
" and sleeping and he prayed " that his children, etc. 

° Cf. Pal. Targ., in loc, for a different reading ; see also Gen. Rab. 
xli\'. i8 ; Ex. Rab. li. 7 ; Pesikta de R. Kahana, 42b. 

® The first editions read : " the kingdom of Greece." See also 
Shocher Tob, Ps. lii. 8, pp. 143b f. ; and Lev. Rab. xiii. 5. The idea in 
our context has a parallel in Wisdom x^-iii. 4. 

' See Esth. iii. 11 : " And the king said to Haman : The silver is 
given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to 
thee." 

* i.e. the Temple of God at Jerusalem. In the printed editions the 
quotation from Isa. xxi. 9 is missing. 



202 RABBI ELIEZER 

Ishmaelites, upo7i whom the Son of David will flourish,i as it 
is said, " His enemies will I clothe with shame : ^ but upon 
him shall his crown flourish " (Ps. cxxxii. 18). 

Rabbi Ze'era ^ said : These kingdoms were created only 
as fuel for Gehinnom, as it is said, "Behold, a smoking 
furnace,'' and a flaming torch that passed " (Gen. xv. 17). 
Here the word " furnace " ^ signifies only Gehinnom, which 
is compared to a furnace, as it is said, " Saith the Lord, 
whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem " (Isa. 
xxxi. 9). 

1 Or it might mean " arise " ; cf. supra, p. 2oi, note 3. 
-In the MS. the quotation ends here, "etc." being added; in 
the first editions the verse is continued. 
^ The printed editions read " 'Azariah." 

* Pal. Targ., in loc, renders : " And lo, Abram saw Gehinnom bring- 
ing up flaming coals and burning flakes of fire, wherein the wicked are 
to be judged." See Jer. Targum, in loc, and cf. also Gen. Rab. .xhv. 
•21 ; Apoc. Banichiv. 4; and 4 Ezra iii. 14 (ed. Box), p. 12, note a. 

* The first editions read : " ' Furnace ' and ' torch ' refer only to 
Gehinnom, as it is said," etc. The readings preserv^ed in the Jal'kut, 
Gen. § jy, and the Midrash Haggadol, c. 234, should be compared with 
our text. Beer's Leben Abraham' s should also be consulted for further 
references to the Midrashic sources. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM (continued) 

The Covenant of Circumcision [33b. ii.] 

The eighth trial (was as follows) : " And when Abram was 
ninety-nine years old " (Gen. xvii. 1),^ the Holy One, blessed 
be He, said to him : Until now thou hast not been perfect 
before Me ; but circumcise the flesh of thy foreskin, and 
" walk before me, and be thou perfect" - (ibid.). Moreover, 
the foreskin is a reproach, as it is said, " For that is a 
reproach unto us " {ibid, xxxiv. 14), because the foreskin 
is more unclean than all unclean things, as it is said, " For 
henceforth there shall no more || come into thee the uncir- 
cumcised and the unclean " (Isa. lii. 1). For the foreskin is 
a blemish above all blemishes. Circumcise the flesh of thy 
foreskin and be perfect. 

Rabban Gamaliel said : Abraham sent and called for 
Shem,^ the son of Noah, and he circumcised the flesh of the 
foreskin of our father Abraham,^ and the flesh of the fore- 
skin of Ishmael his son, as it is said, " In the selfsame day 
was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son " ^ (Gen. 
xvii. 26). " In the selfsame day " (means) in the might of 
the sun at midday.^ Not only that, but (it indicates) the 

' The first editions add : " the Holy One, blessed be He, said to 
him, ' Walk before me, and be thou perfect ' " (Gen. xvii. i). 

2 See IVIidrash Agadah, Gen. xvii. 21, p. 36. 

' On Abraham's circumcision see Gen. Rab. xlvi. 4 and xlvii. 8. 
Shem was bom circumcised; see Jalkut, Gen. § 80; J.E. xi. 261 ; Hip- 
polytus (ed. Achelis), p. 91 ; and Jerome, Ep. cxxvi. quoted by Rahmer, 
op. cit. p. 72. 

* See Agadath Bereshith, p. 35, and Tanchuma Vayera, § ii. 

^ Luria thinks that the rest of the verse, " And also all those born 
in his house," etc., is missing in our text. 

* And then it is at its zenith. See Gen. Rab. xlvii. 9; Rashi on 
Gen., in loc. ; and Lekach Tob, in loc. 

203 



204 RABBI ELIEZER 

tenth day of the month,^ the Day of Atonement. It is 
written in connection with the Day of Atonement, " Ye 
shall do no manner of work on that selfsame day, for it is 
a day of atonement " (Lev. xxiii. 28) ; and in the present 
instance the text says, " In the selfsame day was Abraham 
circumcised " (Gen. xvii, 26). Know then that on the Day of 
Atonement Abraham our father was circumcised. ^ Every 
year the Holy One, blessed be He, sees the blood of our 
father Abraham's circumcision, and He forgives all the sins 
of Israel, as it is said, " For on this day^ shall atonement be 
made for you, to cleanse you " (Lev. xvi. 30). In that place 
where Abraham was circumcised and his blood remained, 
there the altar was built,* and therefore, " And all the 
blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar " 
{ibid. iv. 30). (It says also),^ " I said unto thee. In thy 
blood, live ; ^ yea, I said unto thee, In thy blood, live " 
(Ezek. xvi. 6). 

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa said : All who are circumcised 
have (excessive) pain on the third day, as it is said, " And it 
came to pass on the third day, when they were sore " (Gen. 
xxxiv. 25).^ They may wash || the child on the third day,^ when 
it happens to fall on the Sabbath, and all things necessary for 
a circumcision ^ are permitted to be done on the Sabbath. ^^ 

1 Tishri, the 7th month. 

2 This is mentioned by Tosaphoth to T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, iia, 
catchword " But." The story is given by R. Bechai, Comm. on Gen., in 
loc, with a different reading; see also Midrash Agadan, Gen. xvii. 21. 
According to T.B. Baba Mezi'a, Sob, the circumcision of Abraham took 
place on Passover. Jubilees xxxi\ . iS speaks of the instiiuiion of tlie 
Day of Atonement in connection with Joseph. Our author, in his 
opposition to Jubilees, connects the Day of Atonement with the Hfe of 
Abraham. Such variant traditions are common to all histories; cf. 
Usener, " Weihnachsfest," for the different dates observed by the 
Church to celebrate the birthday of the Founder of the Christian faith. 

^ i.e. the event that marked this day, namely, the circumcision of 
the Founder of the Hebrew religion. The circumcision of the Founder 
of the Christian Church is now observed annually on ist January. 

* Mount Moriah. Cf. the legends of Golgotha and Akeldama, see 
Jerome, Com. in Eph. v. 14. 

* The last two sentences of this paragranh arc wanting in the 
Oxford MS. 

* The MS. omits here the second half of the verse ; it occurs in the 
first editions. 

' The first editions add : " Accordingly the sages have taught." 
» After birth. This is a Mishnah in T.B. Sabbath xix. 3. 134b, and 
cf. Talkut, Gen. § 135. 

■9 See T.B. Sabbath, 112a. 

'» See T.B. Sabbath, i2Sb and 133a. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 205 

Every uncircumcised (man) shall not eat (of the Paschal 
offering), and shall not touch the sanctuary. He who 
separates himself from circumcision is like one separated 
from the Holy One, blessed be He. 

Rabban Gamaliel, ^ the son of Rabbi Jehudah the Prince, 
said : When our father Abraham was circumcised, on the 
third day he was very sore,- in order to test him.^ What 
did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He pierced one hole 
in the midst of Gehinnom, and He made the day hot, like 
the day of the wicked.^ He ^ went forth, and sat down at 
the entrance of the tent in the cool of the day, as it is said, 
" And he sat at the tent door (in the heat of the day) " {ibid. 
xviii. 1). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to the minister- 
ing angels : Come ye, let us descend and visit the sick, for 
the virtue of visiting the sick is great before Me.^ The 
Holy One, blessed be He, and the angels descended to visit 
our father Abraham, as it is said, " And the Lord appeared 
unto him " (ibid.). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to 
the ministering angels : Come ye and see ye ^ the power of 
circumcision.** Before Abraham was circumcised he felP 
on his face (before Me), and afterwards I spake with him, 
as it is said, " And Abraham fell upon his face " (ibid. 
xvii. 17). Now that he is circumcised he sits and I stand. 
Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, was 
standing ? Because it is said, " And he looked, and, lo, 
three men stood over against him " [ibid, xviii. 2). 

^ This is Gamaliel ii., to be distinguished from his grandfather 
Gamaliel i. mentioned previously. 

2 The pain on the third day was made exceptionally severe in 
order to test Abraham. This was the eighth trial according to our 
Book. 

3 See AgadathBereshith, pp. 37ff., and Jalkut,Gen. § S 2, which reads : 
" What did He do to try him ? He pierced an aperture in Gehinnom." 

* See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, Sub, and see infra, p. 416, and cf. 
'Arukh, ed. Kohut, v. 390, s.v. pmj, and ibid. p. 20, s.v. d.iS. There is 
no eternal Gehenna in the future life, only a day of heat ; see T.B. 
Nedarim, 8b. 

* i.e. Abraham. 

* Cf. supra, pp. 89, 107. 

' This expression is a characteristic of our author. 

8 On Circumcision see J.E. iv. 92 ff., and on '"Orlah" see ibid. ix. 

435- 

® Pal. Targum, Gen. xvii. 17, reads : And because Abraham 
was not circumcised he was not able to stand, but he bowed himself 
upon his face." Balaam also fell down when receiving the Divine 
oracles. 



206 RABBI ELIEZER 

Rabbi Ze'era || said : There are five ^ kinds of Orlah (things 
iincircumcised) in the world : four with reference to man, 
and one concerning trees. Whence do we know this con- 
cerning the four (terms) applying to man ? (Namely,) the 
uncircumcision of the ear, the uncircumcision of the lips, 
the uncircumcision of the heart, and the uncircumcision of 
the flesh. Whence do we know of the uncircumcision of the 
ear ? Because it is said, " Behold, their ear is uncircum- 
cised " (Jer. vi. 10). Whence do we know of the vmcircum- 
cision of the lips ? Because it is said, " For I am of un- 
circumcised lips " (Ex. vi. 12). Whence do we know of 
the uncircumcision of the heart ? Because it is said, 
" Circumcise the foreskin of your heart " (Deut. x. 16) ; 
and (the text) says, " For all the nations are uneircumcised, 
and all the house of Israel are uneircumcised in heart " 
(Jer. ix. 26). Whence do we know of the uncircumcision 
of the flesh ? Because it is said, " And the uneircumcised 
male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin " 
(Gen. xvii. 14). And " all the nations are uneircumcised " 
in all the four cases, and " all the house of Israel are uneir- 
cumcised in heart." The uncircumcision of the heart does 
not suffer Israel to do the will of their Creator. And in the 
future the Holy One, blessed be He, will take away from 
Israel the uncircumcision of the heart, and they will not 
harden their stubborn (heart) any more before their Creator, 
as it is said, " And I will take away the stony heart ^ out 
of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh " (Ezek. 
xxxvi. 26) ; and it is said, " And ye shall be circumcised in 
the flesh of your foreskin " ^ (Gen. xvii. 11). Whence do we 
know concerning the one ('Orlah) for trees ? * Because it 
is said, " And when ye shall come into the land, and shall 
have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall 

1 See Gen. Rab. xlvi. 5. The tractate of 'Orlah in the Mishnah, 
Tosephta, and Jerushalmi deals with the " uncircumcision " of trees 
based on Lev. xix. 23-25. 

2 In the MS. the quotation ends here ; in the first editions it is con- 
tinued as in our version. The MS. adds " etc." 

^ The first editions read : " And ye shall circumcise the foreskin of 
your flesh," which is not an actual quotation, but a combination of 
Gen. xvii. 11 and Deut. x. 16. The MS. originally read : " the foreskin 
of your heart," which has been deleted. 

* In addition to the Mishnah and Tosephta on '"Orlah" see 
Maimonides, Ma'akhaloth 'Asuroth. x. 9 ff. According to T.B. 
Kiddushin, 37a, the law of 'Orlah is limited to Palestine. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 207 

count the fruit thereof as their uncircumcision : ^ three years 
shall they be as vuicircumcised unto you " (Lev. xix. 23). 

Rabbi Ze'era ^ taught : The tree || which is mentioned 
here is none other than the vine tree.^ If they do not cut 
off from the tree the fruit of the first three years, all the 
fruit which it yields will be gleanings fit to be pluckt off, 
and not good ; and its wine will be disqualified for the 
altar ; but if they cut off from the tree the fruit of the first 
three years, all the fruit which it yields will be good for 
the sight, and their wine will be selected to be brought 
upon the altar. So with our father Abraham ; before he 
was circumcised, the fruit which he produced was not good 
[in its effects,^ and was disqualified from the altar; but 
when he had been circumcised, the fruit which he produced 
was good in its effects,^ and his wine] ^ was chosen to be 
put upon the altar like wine for a libation, as it is said, 
" And wine for the drink offering " (Num. xv. 5). 

Rabbi ^ said : Abraham did not delay aught ^ with reference 
to all (things) which He commanded him, as it is said, " And 
he that is eight days old shall be circumcised " (Gen. xvii. 12) ; 
and when Isaac was born, (and when) he was eight days 
old (Abraham) brought him to be circumcised, as it is said, 
" And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was 
eight days old " {ibid. xxi. 4). Hence thou mayest learn 
that everyone who brings his son for circumcision is as 
though (he were) a high priest bringing his meal offering 
and his drink offering upon the top of the altar.^ Hence 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

2 The first editions read " Zerika." On " ?e'era " see J.E. xii. 651 f., 
and on " Zerika" see ibid. 662. 

^ See Joreh Di'ah, 294. For a similar law see Jubilees vii. i and 
35-38. All trees bearing fruit fit to be eaten were subject to this law ; 
cf. Ezek. xvii. 5 ff. It is very remarkable that our author restricts the 
law of 'Orlah to the vine, which the Rabbis included among the fruit- 
bearing trees ; see Siphra, 90a. 

* With reference to Ishmael. See Jalkut, Gen. § 81. 

* With reference to Isaac. 

* This portion in square brackets is missing in the MS., but un- 
doubtedly it must be supplied ; it occurs in the first editions. 

' The first editions read : " Rabbi Ishmael." This section occurs 
in a later part of the chapter in the printed texts. 

* See T.B. Pesachim, 4a. 

^ This sentence is not in the printed texts. The first editions read : 
" And he brought him (as) a meal offering upon the top of the altar, 
and he made festivities and a banquet." See Shocher Tob, Ps. cxii. 
p. 2T4b. This Midrash has used our book. Some of the printed texts 



208 RABBI ELIEZER 

the sages said : A man is bound to make festivities and a 
banquet on that day when he has the merit of having his 
son 1 circumcised, Hke Abraham our father, who circumcised 
his son, as it is said, " And Abraham circumcised l| his son 
Isaac " - (ibid.). 

Rabbi Jochanan said : All heathens who come to Israel 
are circumcised by their own freewill and with their consent, 
and in the fear of Heaven are they circumcised. We do 
not believe a proselyte until seven generations (have passed), 
so that the waters should not return to their source.^ But 
slaves arc circumcised both by their freewill and with their 
consent as well as without their consent, and no confidence 
is placed in slaves. Likewise with all the slaves who were 
circumcised with our father Abraham, they did not remain 
true (converts) in Israel, neither they nor their seed, because 
it is said, " All the men of his house, those born in the 
house,^ and those bought with money of the stranger, were 
circumcised mth him " {ibid. xvii. 27). Why did he cir- 
cumcise them ? Because of purity, so that they should 
not defile their masters with their food and with their 
drink, for whosoever eateth with an uncircumcised person 
is as though he were eating flesh of abomination.^ All 
who bathe ^vith the uncircumcised are as though they 
bathed with carrion,^ and all who touch an uncircumcised 
person are as though they touched the dead, for in their 
lifetime they are like (the) dead ; ^ and in their death they 

read: "he presented him Uke an offering" (by circumcision). See 
Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit., and Tania Rabbathi, 96 (od. Warsaw), p. loib. 

i See Tosaphoth on Sabbath, 130a ; Joreh Di'ah, 265. 

2 The first editions do not use this quotation, but " And Abraham 
made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned " (Gen. xxi. 8). 
This was not the day of circumcision. But just as Abraham made a 
feast at the weaning of his son, it was inferred that he had also made a 
feast at the circumcision. 

* To test whether they might revert to their former idolatry. Cf . 
T.B. Synhedrin, 94a, and'Midrash Haggadol, c. 2,57. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* The first editions read : "as though he were eating with a dog. 
]ust as the dog is not circumcised so the uncircumcised person is not 
circumcised." For parallel N.T. teaching see Phil. iii. 2 and Eph. 
ii. II. 

* The first editions read : " a leper." Sec Maimonides, On Idolatry, 
vii. 18. 

' Cf . Matt. viii. 22, where the Jews are referred to as " the dead." Th • 
lieathens or Gentiles were, according,' to the N.'l"., believed to be under 
the control of Satan (see 2 Cor. vi. 15-18; and cf. i Cor. x. 19 and 
xii. 2) and therefore children of death (see H^b. ii. 14 f.), whereas the 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 209 

are like the carrion of the beast,^ and their prayer does not 
come before the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said, 
" The dead praise not the Lord " (Ps. cxv. 17). But Israel 
who are circumcised, their prayer comes before the Holy 
One, blessed be He, || like a sweet savour, as it is said, " But 
we will bless the Lord - from this time forth and for evermore. 
Praise ye the Lord " {ibid. 18). 

Rabbi said : Isaac circumcised Jacob, and Esau ; ^ and 
Esau despised the covenant of circumcision just as he 
despised the birthright, as it is said, " So Esau despised 
his birthright " (Gen. xxv. 34). Jacob clung to the covenant 
of circumcision, and circumcised his sons and his grandsons. 
Whence (do we know) that the sons of Jacob were circum- 
cised ? Because it is said, " Only on this condition will 
the men consent unto us to dwell ^ with us . . . if every 
male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised." 
{ibid, xxxiv. 22). Another text says, " Only on this con- 
dition will we consent unto you : if ye will be as we be " 
{ibid. 15).^ Hence thou canst learn that the sons of Jacob 
were circumcised. The sons of Jacob circumcised their 
sons and their grandsons. They gave it to them as an 
inheritance for an everlasting statute, until Pharaoh the 
Wicked arose ® and decreed harsh laws concerning them, 

believers or Christians are the only ones who really live (cf . Rom. v. 
12-21, ibid. i. ib-32, ibid. vi. 13, and ibid. viii. b-io). The Ephesians, 
formerly " Gentiles in the flesh who are called Uncircumcision " (Eph. 
ii. 11), are addressed thus : "You who were dead in trespass and sins" 
{ibid. i). 

1 The first editions read : "of the field." A parallel to the teaching 
of this section is to be found in the doctrine so strongly emphasized by 
Paul that the Christians should not partake of " the things which the 
Gentiles sacrifice" (i Cor. x. 20). Jesus also said, "Give not that 
which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, 
lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you " 
(Matt. vii. 6). On " Dog " as applied to non-Christians in the New 
Testament and Christian literature, see Jewish Sources of the Sermon 
on the Mount, pp. 219 fi. See also Jubilees xv. 26. The Church 
Councils prohibited Christians eating with the Jews, see Apostolic Con- 
stitutions, ii. 62 and viii. 47. 

2 The quotation ends here in the MS., it is continued in the first 
editions. 

3 Jubilees xv. 30 says of Esau : " the Lord did not cause him to 
approach him." See Jalkut. Gen. § 116. 

* In the MS the quotation ends here. 

» This quotation is not in the printed texts. The verse continues : 
" that every male of you be circumcised." 

* See Eccles. Rab. on Eccles. ix. 12 ; Ruth Rab. Proem. (<. Accord- 
ing to Num. Rab. xv. 12, only the tribe of Levi kept the rite of circum- 

14 



210 RABBI ELTEZER 

and withheld from them the covenant of circumcision. 
And on the day when the children of Israel went forth 
from Egypt all the people were circumcised, both young 
and old, as it is said, " For all the people that came out 
were circumcised " (Josh. v. 5). 

The Israelites took the blood of the covenant of circum- 
cision,^ and they put (it) - upon the lintel of their houses, 
and when the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over to plague 
the Egyptians, He saw the blood of the covenant of circum- 
cision upon the lintel of their houses and the blood of the 
Paschal lamb. He was filled || with compassion ^ on Israel, as 
it is said, " And when I passed by thee, and saw thee 
weltering in thy (twofold) blood,* I said unto thee. In thy 
(twofold) blood, live ; yea, I said unto thee. In thy (two- 
fold) blood, live " (Ezek. xvi. 6). " In thy blood " is not 
written here, but in " thy (twofold) blood," with twofold 
blood, the blood of the covenant of circumcision and the 
blood of the Paschal lamb ; therefore it is said, " I said unto 
thee, In thy (twofold) blood, live ; yea, I said unto thee. 
In thy (twofold) blood, live " (ibid.). 

Rabbi Eliezer said : Why ^ did the text say twice, 
" I said unto thee. In thy blood, live ; yea, I said unto thee, 
In thy blood, hve " ? But the Holy One, blessed be He, 
said : By the merit of the blood of the covenant of circum- 
cision and the blood of the Paschal lamb ye shall be redeemed 
from Egypt, and by the merit of the covenant of circum- 
cision and by the merit of the covenant of the Passover in 
the future ye shall be redeemed at the end of the fourth 
kingdom ; ^ therefore it is said, " I said unto thee, In 

cision in Egypt ; the other tribes refused to obey in this matter. See 
Ex. Rab. i. 20, and xix. 5; Tanna de be Ehjahu Rab. xxiii. p. 123; 
and Siphre, Num. § 67. 

' The first editions add : " and the blood of the Paschal lamb." See 
Pal. Targum on Ex. xii. i ^, which reads, " And the blood of the Paschal 
offering and the rite of circumcision shall be a guarantee to you, to 
become a sign upon the houses where ye dwell " ; see also Mekhilta (on 
Ex. xii. ()) p. 5a, Zohar, Lev. 95a, and Num. Rab. xiv. 12. 

-The first editions read "them," i.e. the blood of the circumcision 
as well as the blood of the Paschal lamb. 

^ The root " Pasach " (nos) means to spare, hence to be com- 
passionate. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions it is con- 
tinued. 

* Lit. " For what purpose did the text see to say." 

* At the Messianic redemption. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 211 

thy blood, live ; yea, I said unto thee, In thy blood, live " 
{ibid.).^ 

There are three afflictions,^ (namely,) the affliction of 
the fast, the affliction of the prison, and the affliction of 
the road.3 Whence do we know of the affliction of the fast ? 
(Because it is said,) ^ " I afflicted my soul with fasting " 
(Ps. XXXV. 13). Whence do we know of the affliction of the 
prison ? (Because it is said,) * " They hurt his feet with 
fetters " (ibid. cv. 18). Whence do we know of the affliction 
of the road ? (Because it is said,) ^ " He weakened my 
strength in the way " {ibid. cii. 23). On account of the 
affliction of the road, (the children of Israel) ^ did not 
circumcise, and when they went forth from Egypt all the 
people were circumcised, both young and old, as it is said, 
" For all the people that came out were circumcised " || 
(Josh. V. 5).^ 

Rabbi Ishmael said : Did the uncircumcised ^ hear the 
voice of the Holy One, blessed be He, on Mount Sinai, 
saying, " I am the Lord thy God " (Ex. xx. 2) ? ' They 
were circumcised, but not according to its regulation.^ They 
had cut off the foreskin, but they had not uncovered the 
corona. Everyone who has been circumcised, but has not 
had the corona uncovered, is as though he had not been 
circumcised, therefore the text says, " Israel was not 
circumcised of old." ^ 

When they came to the land (of Canaan),i^ the Holy One, 
blessed be He, said to Joshua : Joshua ! Dost thou not know 
that the Israelites are not circumcised according to the proper 
regulation ? He again circumcised them a second time, as 

1 See Targum on Ezek. xvi. 6 ; and cf. infra, pp. 383 ff. 

- See T.B. Nedarim, 31b, 32a ; T.B. Gittin, 70a ; Shocher Tob, 
Ps. xxxi. p. i2ia; Lam. Rab. i. 50; T.B. Jebamoth, 71b, on the 
danger of circumcision when one travels. 

^ Or, journey. 

* This is omitted by the MS., but it occurs in the first editions. 

* The printed editions quote Josh. v. 7. 

* i.e. the Israehtes. 

' See Num. Rab. xi. 3, Cant. Rab. i. 12, and Shocher Tob, Pss. 
p. 39a ; and cf . T.B. Jebamoth, 72a. The first editions add : " And 
did He give them the Torah ? But, Heaven forbid ! They were 
circumcised, but they did not have the corona uncovered." 

* This refers to (nv<iBi " F'ri'ah" (having the corona uncovered). 
9 This is not a Biblical quotation. Should Josh. v. 5 be quoted ? 

1° The first editions read : " When the Israelites came to the land of 
Israel." 



212 RABBI ELIEZER 

it is said, " The Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee knives 
of flint,! and circumcise again the children of Israel a second 
time " (Josh. V. 2). " And Joshua made him knives of flint " 
{ibid. 3), and he gathered all the foreskins until he made 
them (as high) as a hill, as it is said, " And he circumcised 
the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins " (ibid.). 
The Israelites took the foreskin and the blood - and covered 
them with the dust ^ of the wilderness. When Balaam ^ 
came, he saw all the wilderness filled with the foreskins of 
the Israelites, he said : Who will be able to arise by the 
merit of the blood of the covenant of this circumcision, 
which is covered by the dust ? as it is said, " Who can count 
the dust of Jacob ? " (Num. xxiii. 10). 

Hence || the sages instituted that they should cover the 
foreskin and the blood with the dust of the earth,^ because 
they ^ are compared to the dust of the earth, as it is said, 
" And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth " (Gen. 
xxviii. 14). Thus the Israelites were wont to circumcise 
until they were divided into two kingdoms. The kingdom 
of Ephraim cast off from themselves the covenant of circum- 
cision.^ Elijah, may he be remembered for good, arose 
and was zealous with a mighty passion, and he adjured the 
heavens to send down neither dew nor rain upon the earth. 
Jezebel heard (thereof), and sought to slay him. Elijah 
arose and prayed before the Holy One, blessed be He. 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : " Art thou 
better than thy fathers ? " ^ Esau sought to slay Jacob, 

1 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions the latter 
part of the verse only is given. 

' The law of the covering of the blood is ascribed by Jubilees vii. 30 
to Noah, who tells his sons : " and work ye a good work to your souls 
bv covering that which has been shed on the face of the earth " ; see 
also ibid. 31, 33. In opposition to Jubilees, our author transfers the 
precept to Abraham. 

* The Babylonian Jews appear to have used water to cover the blood 
at the circumcision, whereas the Palestinian Jews used earth to cover 
the blood and the foreskin after the circumcision. See Sha'are Zedek 
V. 10 ; Tur Jorch Di'ah, 265 ; Zohar, Gen. 95a. Cf. Menorath Ha-Maor 

§ Ixxx. 

* The Veniceedition adds here: "the magician." See Jalkut,Gen.§7i . 
^ See previous note 3 ; and see Chiluf Minhagim, ed. Miiller, pp. 

18 f., and see also the Haggadic Commentary Sekhel Tob i. p. 19. 

* The Israelites. 

' Jubilees xv. 33 refers to the neglect of circumcision by the 
children of Israel. 

* Cf . I Kings xix. 4. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 213 

but he fled before him/ as it is said, " And Jacob fled into 
the field of Aram " ^ (Hos. xii. 12). Pharaoh sought to slay- 
Moses, who fled before him and he was saved, as it is said, 
" Now when Pharaoh heard this thing,^ he sought to slay- 
Moses. And Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh " (Ex. 
ii. 15). Saul sought to slay David, who fled before him 
and was saved, as it is said, " If thou save not thy life 
to-night, to-morrow thou shalt be slain " (1 Sam. xix. 11).* 
Another text says, " And David fled and escaped " {ibid. 
18). Learn that everyone, who flees, is saved. Elijah, 
may he be remembered for good, arose and fled from the 
land of Israel,^ |] and he betook himself to Mount Horeb, as 
it is said, " And he arose, and did eat and drink " (1 Kings 
xix. 8). There the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed 
unto him, and He said to him : " What doest thou here, 
Elijah ? " {ibid. 9). He answered Him, saying : " I have 
been very zealous" {ibid. 10). (The Holy One, blessed 
be) ^ He, said to him : Thou art always zealous ! " 
Thou wast zealous in Shittim ^ on account of the im- 
morality. Because it is said, " Phineas,^ the son of 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,^" turned my wrath 
away from the children of Israel, in that he was zealous 
with my zeal among them" (Num. xxv. 11). Here also art 
thou zealous. By thy life ! They ^^ shall not observe the 

1 The first editions add : " and he was saved." 

2 See Jalkut. Ex. § i68, and Menorath Ha-Maor § Ixxx. Eventually 
Jacob escaped from Laban, as well as from Esau. The first editions read : 
" Esau attempted to sla\' Jacob, as it is said, ' The days of mourning 
for my father are at hand ; then will I slay my brother Jacob ' " (Gen. 
xxvii. 41). 

3 In the MS. the quotation ends here ; the first editions quote the 
latter part of the verse. 

* The first editions quote (i Sam. xix. 1 1 ) only. 
° To Horeb, which was outside Palestine. 

* This is missing in the MS., but it occurs in the first editions. 

"> See Cant. Rab. i. 6 ; Tanna de be Elijahu Zutta (viii.), p. 187 ; 
Jalkut to I Kings § 217 ; Agadath Shir Ha-Shirim, p. 45, quoted by 
Schechter in his Aspects of Rabbinic Theology, p. 205; see also ibid., 
p. 52, on EUjah's zeal. 

* See infra, p. 370, and Jalkut. Gen. § 71. 

9 Phineas is identified with Elijah. Just as we find in the New 
Testament that John the Baptist was held to be EHjah, see Matt. xi. 
14. According to some Jewish authorities Ehjah was a priest, see 
Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xviii. pp. 97 f. This legend occurs also in 
the Book of the Bee (ed. Budge), p. 70. 

1" In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

" The first editions and Jalkut, loc. cit.. read " Israel," 



214 RABBI ELIEZER 

covenant of circumcision until thou seest it (done) with 
thine eyes. 

Hence the sages ^ instituted (the custom) that people 
should have a seat of honour for the Messenger of the 
Covenant; for Elijah, may he be remembered for good, is 
called the Messenger of the Covenant, as it is said, " And 
the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in, behold, 
he Cometh " (Mai. iii. 1).- 

* See Tur, Joreh Diali, 21)5 ; Tania Rabbathi, 96, p. loia. and 
Halakhoth Gedoloth quoted by Schorr in p'?nn, v. 38.1 

^ The chair for EUjah is to this day a feature at every circumcision. 
The MS. Gaster and the first editions add : " O God of Israel ! Hasten 
and bring the Messiah in our lifetime to comfort us, and may he restore * 
our hearts, as it is said : ' And he shall restore ^ the heart of the fathers 
to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers ' " (Mai. iv. 
6).* According to this reading the chapter closes with a rhyme. 
Luria argues that as the verse quoted from Malachi speaks of Elijah, 
the reading might originally have been " Elijah " in place of the word 
" Messiah," or perhaps both words were in the context. See infra, 
p. 344. The Oxford MS. reads the entire verse Mai. iii. i. 

^ Dr. Buchler observes: "The earliest reference known besides 
this, is R. Jacob b. Nissim of Kairwan about 970 c.e. Q"n mmiK (ed. 
Schlesinger) 12 ; see also Giidema'in, Erziehungswesen in Italien, p. 28, 
n. 4 ; Zunz, Zur Gesch., pp. 485. 590 ff. ; and Lewysohn, D'jnao mpo 93. 

* Lit. " renew." 

» The R.V. renders " turn." 

* This is not the mission of the Messiah, but of Elijah, the great 
Reconciler. 



CHAPTER XXX 

THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM (continued) 

Abraham and Ishmael [36a. ii.] 

The ninth trial (was as follows) : Ishmael was born with 
(the prophecy of the) bow,^ and he grew up with the bow,^ 
as it is said, " And God was with the lad, and he grew . . .^ 
and he became an archer " (Gen. xxi. 20). He took bow 
and arrows and began to shoot at the birds.'* He saw Isaac 
sitting by himself, and he shot an arrow ^ at him to slay 
him.^ Sarah saw (this), and told Abraham. She said to 
him : Thus and thus has Ishmael done to Isaac, but (now) 
arise and write (a will in favour) of Isaac, (giving him) all 
that the Holy One has sworn to give || to thee and to thy 
seed.' The son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my 
son, with Isaac, as it is said, " And she said unto Abraham, 
Cast out this bondwoman and her son " {ibid. 10). 

Ben Tema ^ said : Sarah said to Abraham, Write ^ a bill of 

1 Perhaps the version should be, " Ishmael was born under (the 
constellation) Sagittarius." The word " Kesheth " sometimes means 
this constellation, or it might indicate " liarshness." 

* Jalkut, Gen. § 94 reads : " Ishmael was born and grew up with 
the bow." Cf. Isa. xxi. 15. 

3 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; the first editions quote the 
latter part of the verse only. 

« See Tosephta Sotah vi. p. ^08 ; Jalkut, he. cit., and Gen. Rab. Uii. 
15. The MS. reads ""Pugoth." This agrees with the Oxford MS. 
" Puga " is identified with '"' Suga," the name of a bird. See T.B. Baba 
Bathra, gob. 

* MS. O.A. 167 reads : " the arrows." Sec Gen. Rab. liii. 11. 

* Sec Lekach Tob, Gen. p. 47, note 20, for other parallels. 

7 Cf. Geni. XV. "5 and xvii. 7. The first editions add : " By thy life." 
Luria would read : " In thy hfe time " and connects it with the preceding 
sentence : " Write in thy life time." 

* This is missing in the printed editions and in Jalkut, Gen., loc, cit., 
but it occurs in MS. O.A. 167. Ben Tema was an Amora, 

9 MS. O.A. 167 reads : " Arise and write." 

215 



216 RABBI ELIEZER 

divorce,! and send away this handmaid and her son from 
me and from Isaac my son, in this world and from the world 
to come. More than all the misfortunes which overtook 
Abraham, this matter was exceedingly evil in his eyes, as it 
is said, " And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's 
sight on account of his son " {ibid. 11).- 

Rabbi Jehudah ^ said : In that night the Holy One, blessed 
be He, was revealed unto him. He said to him : Abraham ! 
Dost thou not know that Sarah was appointed to thee for a 
wife * from her mother's womb ? She is thy companion, and 
the wife of thy covenant ; ^ Sarah is not called thy handmaid, 
but thy wife ; ^ neither is Hagar called thy wife, but thy 
handmaid ; and all that Sarah has spoken " she has uttered 
truthfully. Let it not be grievous in thine eyes, as it is 
said, " And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous 
in thy sight " {ibid. 12). 

Abraham rose up early,** and wrote a bill of divorce, 
and gave it to Hagar, and he sent her and her son away from 
himself, and from Isaac his son, from this world and from 
the world to come, as it is said, " And Abraham rose up 
early in the morning, and took ^ bread and a bottle of water " 
{ibid. 14). He sent her away || with a bill of divorcement, 
and he took the veil,!*' and he bound it around her waist, so 
that it should drag behind her to disclose (the fact) that 
she was a bondwoman. ^^ Not only this, but also because 

^ See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxi. lo. 

^ The Pal. Targum, Gen., loc. cit., explains that this was due to the 
evil deeds of Ishmael in the future. The inference in our Midrash is 
derived from the quotation, and it was only in this instance that Scripture 
refers to the sorrow of Abraham. See Midrash Haggadol, c. 308. 

3 MS. O.A. 167 adds : " the Prince." 

* The Venice edition adds : " from her birth." 

° i.e. the first wife. See Mai. ii. 14 ; and Targum, in loc, and cf. 
Rashi on Mai. ii. 14. 

" MS. O.A. 167 adds : " as it is said : ' And God said, But Sarah thy 
wife ' " (Gen. xvii. 19). This verse is also given by the first editions. 

' MS. O.A. 167 adds: " to thee." 

' MS. O.A. 167 adds : " in the morning." See Midrash Haggadol, 
c. 309. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here, but " etc. " is added. The 
first editions and MS. O.A. 167 continue the verse. Luria adds : " And 
the child." 

^^ See Jalkut, Gen. § 95, according to Jastrow, T.D. 1452b. for a 
variant reading. Cf. Gen. Rab. liii. 13. The Venice edition reads 
" water-barrel " ; cf. Siphre, Num. § 115, and Jalkut, Num. § 750, which 
reads " water- barrel." Our MS. agrees with the text in the ist ed. 

" See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 87a. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 217 

Abraham desired to see Ishmael, his son, and to see the way 
whereon they went. 

By the merit of our father Abraham the water did not fail 
in the bottle, but when she reached the entrance to the 
wilderness, she began to go astray after the idolatry of her 
father's house ; ^ and forthwith the water in the bottle 
was spent, as it is said, " And she departed and wandered " 
(ibid.). Ishmael was seventeen ^ years old (when) he went 
forth from the house of Abraham, and Isaac was forty ^ 
years old. By the merit of our father Abraham the water 
did not fail in the bottle, but when she reached the entrance 
to the wilderness, she began to go astray after the idolatry 
of her father's house ; the water in the bottle was spent,^ and 
the soul of Ishmael was faint with thirst. 

"And she departed and wandered" (ibid.). The mean- 
ing of " and she wandered " is merely idolatry, because 
it is written, concerning (this root),^ " They are vanity, a 
work of delusion " ^ (Jer. x. 15).' He went and cast himself 
beneath the thorns of the wilderness,^ so that the moist- 
ure might be upon him, and he said : O God of my father 
Abraham ! ^ Thine are the issues of death ; take away from me 

1 The first editions read: "the house of Pharaoh her father"; 
according to Rabbinic legend Hagar was the daughter of Pharaoh. 
See supra, p. 190, Gen. Rab. xlv. 2, and the Book of Jashar xv. 31. 

2 The Venice edition gives twenty-seven years for Ishmael's age. 

3 The first editions read : " ten years." The " forty years " may 
refer to Isaac's age when he married Rebecca and left his father's 
house to dwell in Sarah's tent. It seems very probable that the MS. 
reading is based on a copy which read " four " years. This was altered 
by the writer of our MS. into " forty." Ishmael was thirteen years 
older than Isaac, and as the former was seventeen years old when he 
left Abraham's house Isaac must have been four years old. See 
infra, p. 225. See Gen. Rab. liii. 13, according to which Ishmael was 
twenty-seven years old; see also the Book of Jashar xxi. 14, Jalkut, 
Gen., loo. cit., and Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit. 

* The whole of this sentence thus far is an exact repetition of a few 
lines above. See also Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit., for the same 
circumstance. 

^ Cf. Isa. xix. 13. 

' The root of this word (j?nni) is connected apparently with the 
Hebrew "to err" or " to wander" (nvn) ; see Zohar, Gen. ii8b. 
' The previous verse refers to the images. 

* Cf. Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. The phraseology is based on Job xxx. 7. 
This chapter is applied to Ishmael by the Midrash. The next few words 
(up to " upon him ") are wanting in the printed texts. 

^ Cf. the version of the prayer in Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. The printed 
editions of our book differ here from our MS. The first editions read 
thus : " Sovereign of the Worlds ! If it be Thy pleasure to give me 
water to drink, give me to drink and let not my soul depart because of 



218 RABBI ELIEZER 

my soul, for I would not die of thirst. And He was entreated 
of him, as it is said, " For God hath heard the || voice of the 
lad where he is" (Gen. xxi. 17). The welH which was 
created at twilight "^ was opened for them there, and they 
went and drank and filled the bottle with water, as it is 
said, " And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of 
water " {ibid. 19). And there ^ they left the well,* and thence 
they started on their way,^ and went through all the wilder- 
ness until they came to the wilderness of Paran, and they 
found there streams of water, and they dwelt there, as it is 
said, " And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran " (ibid. 21). 
Ishmael sent for a wife from among the daughters ^ of 
Moab, and 'Ayeshah ' was her name. After three years ^ 
Abraham went to see Ishmael his son, having sworn to 
Sarah that he would not descend from the camel in the 
place where Ishmael dwelt. He arrived there at midday 
and found there the wife of Ishmael. He said ^ to 
her : Where is Ishmael ? She said to him : He has gone 
with his mother to fetch the fruit of the palms ^^ from the 
wilderness. He said to her : Give me a httle bread and a 
little water,ii for my soul is faint after the journey in the 
desert. She said to him : I have neither bread nor water. 
He said to her : When Ishmael comes (home) tell him this 
II story, and say to him : A certain old man came from the 
land of Canaan to see thee, and he said, Exchange ^^ the 

thirst ; for death by thirst is unnatural, and it is harder than all other 
(kinds of) death. The Holy One, blessed be He, heard his prayer." 
^ See infra, p. 263. 

2 Of the eve of the first Sabbath in the week of Creation. See supra, 
p. 124. 

3 In the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. 

* See infra, pp. 268, 323. 

^ Lit. " they lifted up their feet." 

« The first editions read : " fords." The reading in our MS. is 
the correct text. 

' In later editions other readings of this name are found, namely, 
'"Essah " and '"Ephah." See Grunbaum, op. cit. p. 125. 

* Cf. the narrative in the Book of Jashar xxi. 22 ff. ; Jalkut, 
Gen., loc. cit.. and Midrash Haggadol, c. 310. 

» The scribe has made a little mistake here by writing " She said." 

1" Luria objects to the text, and prefers to read, " fruit of the broom- 
tree " ; cf. Job XXX. 4. See Jalkut, loc. cit. ; T.B. Baba Bathra, 75b ; 
perhaps the text should read : " fruit and broom-trees." 

" The first editions read : " a little bread and dainties." The 
Prague edition reads : " a little water and bread and dainties." 

1* The first editions read : " That the door-sill of the house is not 
good." See the Book of Jashar xxi. 31, and Jalkut, loc. cit. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 219 

threshold of thy house, for it is not good for thee. When 
Ishmael came (home) his wife told him the story. A son of 
a wise man is like half a wise man. Ishmael understood. 
His mother sent and took for him a wife from her father's 
house,^ and her name was Fatimah.- 

Again after three years Abraham went to see his son 
Ishmael, having sworn to Sarah as on the first occasion 
that he would not descend from the camel in the place 
where Ishmael dwelt. He came there at midday, and found 
there Ishmael's wife. He said to her : Where is Ishmael ? 
She replied to him : He has gone with his mother to feed 
the camels in the desert. He said to her : Give me a little 
bread and water, for my soul is faint after the journey ^ of 
the desert. She fetched it and gave it to him. Abraham 
arose and prayed before the Holy One, blessed be He, for 
his son, and (thereupon) Ishmael's house was filled with all 
good things of the various blessings,^ When Ishmael came 
(home) his wife told him what had happened, and Ishmael 
knew that his father's love was still extended to him, as 
it is said, 1| " Like as a father pitieth his sons " (Ps. ciii. 
13). After the death of Sarah, Abraham again took 
(Hagar) his divorced (wife), as it is said, " And Abraham 
again ^ took a wife, and her name was Keturah " (Gen. xxv. 
1). Why does it say " And he again " ? Because on the 
first occasion she was his wife, and he again betook himself 
to her. Her name was Keturah, because she was perfumed 
with all kinds of scents.® 

Another explanation of Keturah (is) : because her 

^ From Pharaoh's house. See supra, p. 1 90, and cf . the Book of 
Jashar xxi. 17. 

^ See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxi. 21, and Jalkut, loc. cit. These names 
Fatimah and 'Ayeshah point to Arabian influence, and give us another 
terminus a quo to fix the date and locaUty of its redaction. 'Ephah, 
mentioned above (p. 218, note 7), occurs as a woman's name in 
I Chron. ii. 46. 

2 For this legend, see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 66 f. with 
notes. 

* Jalkut, loc. cit., reads "food and blessing." See infra, p. 328, and 
cf. Midrash Haggadol, c. 311. 

* In our MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions as in our version. See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxv. i, and 
Midrash Haggadol, c. 375, note 8, where the parallel passages are 
given. 

* The Ishmaelites in the wilderness were the buyers and sellers 
of precious spices. Cf. Cant. iii. 6, and Ezek. xxvii. 21, 



220 RABBI ELIEZER 

actions were beautiful like incense,^ and she bare him 
six sons,- and they were all called according to the name 
of Ishmael,^ as it is said, " And she bare him Zimran " 
{ibid. 2). 

Like a woman sent away from her husband, so likewise 
Abraham arose and sent them away from Isaac his son, 
from this world and from the world to come, as it is said, 
" But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham 
had,^ Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them ^ away from 
Isaac his son " {ibid. 6), by a deed of divorcement. 

Corresponding to the name of Ishmael's son " Kedar, the 
sons of Kedar were so called, as it is said, " Of Kedar, and 
of the kingdoms of Hazor " (Jer. xlix. 28). Corresponding 
to the name of Ishmael's son " Kedemah " ' (Gen. xxv. 15), 
the " sons of Kedem " were so called.^ Because they dwelt 
in the territory belonging to Cain, his children were called 
" sons of Cain," as it is said, " Now Heber the Kenite 
had separated himself from Cain " (Judg. iv. 11). Were 
not all the sons of Cain cut off ^ by the waters of the Flood ? 
But because they dwelt in the territory of the children of 
Cain, his children were called " sons of Cain," as it is said, 
" Nevertheless || Cain shall be wasted, ^° as long as Asshur 
shall dwell in thy place " (Num. xxiv. 22). " Neverthe- 
less Cain shall be wasted away " by fire, through the seed 

1 The Hebrew for " incense" (Ketoreth) suggests a connection with 
the name Keturah. 

^ The first editions read here (instead of our context) the following : 
"Zimran, and Jokshan, and Mcdan and Midian, and Ishbak and 
Shuah." 

^ The meaning is not quite evident ; does it mean that the six names 
have some part of their spelling in common with the various letters 
of the name Ishmael ? This is the case with the initial letter of five 
names, but Zimran is the exception. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ The MS. reads : " 'and he sent them away' by adeed of divorcement." 

* The first editions read " sons." The descendants of Ishmael 
intermarried with the children of Keturah. 

' In the MS. the word has been partly erased, only the letters ip 
are legible. 

* The first editions add : " as it is said : ' The children of Kedem ' " 
(Jer. xlix. 28). 

* Cf. Rabbi Bechai's commentary on Num. xxiv. 22, which reads: 
" Were not all the sons of Cain cut off ? " according to our text. The 
later editions read: "separated at the generation of the flood." 

*" In the MS. the quotation ends here. Our translation of the 
Scripture text differs from the usual version. 



THE TRIALS OF ABRAHAM 221 

of Ishmael, the latter shall cause the kingdom of Assyria 
to cease.i 

Balaam said : Of the seventy nations that the Holy One, 
blessed be He, created in His world, He did not put His 
name on any one of them except on Israe/ ; - and since the 
Holy One, blessed be He, made the name of Ishmael similar 
to the name of IsraeZ, woe to him who shall live in his days, 
as it is said, " Alas, who shall live when God establisheth 
him ? " 3 (ibid. 23). 

Rabbi Ishmael said : In the future the children oi 
Ishmael will do fifteen things in the land (of Israel) in the 
latter days, and they are : They will measure the land with 
ropes ; ^ they will change a cemetery into a resting-place 
for sheep (and) a dunghill ; they will measure with them 
and from them upon the tops of the mountains ; 
falsehood will multiply and truth will be hidden ; the 
statutes will be removed far from Israel ; sins will be 
multiplied in Israel ; worm-crimson will be in the wool, 
and he will cover ^ with insects paper and pen ; he will hew 
down the rock of the kingdom,^ and they will rebuild 
the desolated cities and sweep the ways ; and they will 
plant gardens and parks, and fence in the broken walls of the 
Temple ; and they will build a building in the Holy Place ; 
and two brothers will arise over them,' princes at the end ; 

^ The reference may be to the Moslem possession of Bagdad in 
Babylon. See infra, p. 350 ; and also Rashbam, in loc. (Num. 
xxiv. 22). 

^ Some of the later editions add here : " And IshmaeZ, as it is said : 
' And thou shalt call his name Ishmael ' " (Gen. xvi. 11). 

* By giving him the name of El. " Alas, who shall live when he is 
appointed (with the name) El," may be the meaning read into the 
verse in question, or probably there is a play on the name Ishmael 
and the last two words Missumo el. The usual rendering is, " Alas, 
who shall live when God doeth this." See Midrash Haggadol, c. ^^St,. 

* To obtain exact dimension : cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, 103b. 

* The root hap means to be decayed. See Isa. xxxiii. 9 : " Lebanon 
mouldereth " ; or should we render " The paper will be decayed with 
the pen " ? Literature will then perish. Krauss, Studien zur Byzantisch- 
Jiidischen Geschichte, p. 145, renders the preceding clause: "purple 
will be exceedingly dear." 

* The tombs of the Kings of Judah. Ki-auss, op. cit., renders here : 
"the coinage will be withdrawn from circulation." 

^ Or, " against them," i.e. the two CaUphs, Mohammed Alemin 
and Abdallah Almamum (809-813 c.e.). See Graetz, Geschichte, 
v. pp. 1971., and his article in Frankel's Monatsschrift, 1859, p. 112. 
This gives us again a date for determining the period when our book 
was finally edited. Krauss, op. cit., points out that the reference in the 
preceding clause is to the Mosque of Omar, the foundation of which 



222 RABBI ELIEZER 

and in t leir days the Branch, the Son of David, will arise, 

as it is 5,' aid, '| " And in the days of those kings shall the God 

of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed " 

(Dan. ii. 44). 

Rabbi Ishmael also said : Three wars of trouble ^ will 

the sons of Ishmael in the future wage on the earth in the 

latter days, as it is said, " For they fled away from the 

swords " (Isa. xxi. 15). " Swords " signify only wars, one in 

, the forest of Arabia, as it is said, " From the drawn sword " 

'ibid.); another on the sea, as it is said, " From the bent 

oow " (ibid.) ; and one in the great city which is in Rome,- 

which will be more grievous than the other two, as it is said. 
s 
" And from the grievousness of the war " (ibid.). From 

there the Son of David shall flourish and see the destruction 

of ^ these and these, and thence will He come to the land 

of Israel, as it is said, " Who is this that cometh from 

Edom,^ with crimsoned garments from Bozrah ? this that 

is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his 

strength ? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save " 

{ibid. Ixiii. 1). 

wcis laid by the Caliph Omar after his conquest of Jerusalem in 636 c.e. 
In the next line we lia\e the expression, " the Branch, the son of 
David," cf. supra, p. 201, note 3, and see also the Shemoneh 'Esreh, 
p. 49 (Singrr). 

' Or, " commotion." 

* The later editions read here " Aram," owing to the Censor. 

^ The Prague edition reads: "the idolatrs." See also Graetz, 
Geschichte, v. pp. 441 ff., especially p. 446, on the connection between 
our book and the Secrets of R. Simeon ben Jochai. The latter work, 
according to Graetz, was the source used by our author. The theory 
of Graetz was controverted by Steinschneider in Z D.M.G. xxviii. pp. 
645 f. The Secrets are printed in Jellinek's B.H.M. iii. p. 78. A very 
interesting parallel to the latter part of this chapter of P.R.E. is'fo be 
found in the Book of the Bee, liii. (pp. i24flf.). 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here; it is continued in the first 
editions. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE BINDING OF ISAAC ON THE ALTAR [38a. i.] 

The tenth trial was (as follows) : " And it came to pass after 
these things, that God did prove Abraham " (Gen. xxii. 1). 
He tried Abraham each time ^ in order to know his heart, 
whether he would be able to perse vif -^ id keep all the 
commandments of the Torah - or not. whilst as yet the 

Torah had not been given, Abraham kept all the precepts ^ of 
the Torah, as it is said, " Because that Abraham obeyed 
my voice,* and kept my charge, my commandments, my 
statutes, and my Torah " {ibid. xxvi. 5).^ And Ishmael 
went repeatedly from the wilderness to see || his father 
Abraham.^ 

Rabbi Jehudah said : In that night was the Holy One, 
blessed be He, revealed unto him, and He said unto him : 
Abraham ! " Take now thy son,^ thine only son, whom thou 

^ See Gen. Rab. Iv. i, and Cant. Rab. i. g. 

- The next words, up to " as it is said," are not in the printed 
editions. 

3 According to the Book of Jubilees, Abraham not only enacted 
the laws of tithes (xiii. 25-29), but he also celebrated the feast of 
first-fruits of the grain harvest on the 15th of Sivan (xv. i, 2), and 
the feast of Tabernacles (xvi. 20-31) ; he ordained peace-offerings 
and the regulations as to the use of salt and wood for the offerings, 
washings before sacrifices, and the duty of covering blood (xxi. 7-17), 
and prohibited intermarrying with the Canaanites (xxii. 20, xxv. 5), 
and adultery (xxxix. 6). On this theme see Apoc. Baruca Ivii. 2, and 
cf. Ecclus. xliv. 20. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here, but it is continued in the 
first editions. 

* See T.B. Joma, 28a f. 

* As Abraham had visited Ishmael, the latter knew that his father 
would receive him. See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxii. i, and Gen. Rab. h . 
4, for the story of the dispute between Isaac and Ishmael, and for the 
account of the readiness of the former to offer up his life to the service 
of God. 

' In our MS. the quotation ends here, but it is continued in the 
first editions. 

233 



224 RABBI ELIEZER 

lovest, even Isaac " {ibid. xxii. 2). And Abraham, having pity 
upon Isaac,^ said before Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! 
Concerning which son - dost Thou decree upon me ? Is it 
concerning the son lacking circumcision,^ or the son born for 
circumcision ? He answered him : " Thine only son." 
He rejoined : This one is the only son of his mother, and the 
other son is the only son of his mother. He said to him : 
" The one, whom thou lovest." He said to Him : Both of 
them do I love.* He said to him : " Even Isaac." 

" And offer him there for a burnt offering " ^ {ibid.). 
He spake to Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! On which 
mountain hast Thou told me (to offer him) ? (God) 
answered him : In every place where thou dost see My 
glory abiding and waiting for thee there, and saying,'' This 
is Mount Moriah ; ' a^it is said, " Upon one of the mountains 
which / will tell U \vh " {ibid.).^ 

Abraham rose up ■ early in the morning, and he took 
with him Ishmael, and Eliezer, and Isaac his son, and he 
saddled the ass. Upon this ass did Abraham ride. This 
was the ass, the offspring of that ass which was created during 
the twilight,^ as it is said, " And Abraham rose early in the 
morning, and saddled his ass " {ibid. S).^^ The same ass was 
also ridden upon by Moses when he came to Egypt, as it is 
said, " And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them 
upon the ass " (Ex. iv. 20). This || same ass will be ridden 

1 Luria thinks that the reading should be : " The Holy One, blessed 
be He, had pity upon Isaac " (and ordered that Ishmael should be 
offered as an atonement for his past evil life). See Jalkut, Gju. § 90, 
Midrash Hagi:;adol, c. 317, and ci. Wisdom x. 5. 

2 See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 69, and of. the Liturgy for 
the second day of the New Year, ed. Heidenheim, pp. 34b ff. 

3 Ishmael had been born thirteen years before God commanded the 
rite of circumcision, and when he was born his father was uncircum- 
cised. but when Isaac was born Abraham was circumcised. On the 
theme of the "'Akedah " see Gen. Rab. Iv. i f. 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 89b ; Gen. Rab. xxxix. 12. 
» See the rest of this quotation. 

« The first editions add " to thee " ; see Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. 

' The 1st ed. reads here : " the altar." 

•The first editions add: "'Which I have told thee of,' is not 
written here, but, ' which I will tell thee of.' " God would indicate 
to Abraham the place in His own good time: of. Gen. Rab. Iv. S. 

* Preceding the first Sabbath in the week of creation. See Aboth 
V. 9; Jalkut, Gen. § 98 ; Jalkut on Zech. ix. 9 (ed. King, p. 48) ; and 
cf. supra, p. 124. 

10 This quotation should probably belong to the previous sentence, 
and follow the word " ass." 



1 



%G OF ISAAC ON THE ALTAR 225 

Pthe future by the Son of David,^ as it is said, 
^ greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of 
^m : behold, thy king cometh unto thee : he is just, 
)d ; 2 lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt, 
of an ass " ^ (Zech. ix. 9). 

c was thirty-seven years old * when he went to Mount 

, and Ishmael was fifty years old. Contention arose 

a Eliezer and Ishmael. Ishmael said to Eliezer : Now 

jraham will offer Isaac his son for a burnt offering, 

4 upon the altar, ^ and I am his first-born son, I will 

I (the possessions of) Abraham. Eliezer replied to 

laying : He has already driven thee out like a woman 

?ed from her husband, and he has sent thee ^ away to 

ilderness, but I am his servant, serving him by day and 

ght, and I shall be the heir of Abraham. The Holy 

; answered them, saying to them : Neither this one nor 

one shall inherit.' 

n the third day they reached Zophim,^ and when they 
ned Zophim they saw the glory of the Shekhinah ^ 

The Messiah; see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 71, note 2, 
Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount, p. 143, for the 
ige interpretation given to this Messianic function by Matthew 
1. 7), and cf. Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Try ph. liii. 
^ In the MS. this first part of the verse is not quoted. 
. 3 Later Rabbinic interpretation appUed this verse sometimes to 
■ Messiah ben Joseph. See Ibn Ezra, in loc. 

* See Tanna de be EUjahu Rab. xxv. p. 138, and cf. Seder "Olam 
.b. i. ; Tosaphoth to T.B. Jebamoth, 6ib ; Ex. Rab. i. i, and the 
3vious chapter in our book. 

! 6 The wording here is based on Lev. vi. 13. 

^ See Jalkut, loc. cit. 

'See Gen. Rab. Ivi. i; Midrash Haggadol, col. 320; Tanchuma, 
\ loc. For the story see also the Book of Jashar xxiii. 22 ff., Pal. 
argum, and the second version to Gen. xxii. The Church Fathers deal 
ith the theme in their usual style. See Ephraim of Syria on Jonah, 
; Ambrose On Faith in Immortality , G.T. i. pp. 404 f. ; Zeno of Verona 
Dn Patience, 5. 

* i.e. Mount Moriah, on which the Temple was built ; see 2 Chron. iii. 
r. See Rashi on T.B. Pesachim, 49a ; "Arukh, ed. Kohut, vii. 33a; and 
cf. T.B. Berakhoth, 6ib. The word D'Sis means " watch-towers." 
The Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit., reads " Zuphith." Jubilees (xviii. 13) 
agrees with our book in identifying the mount with Mount Zion. See 

)also Book of the Bee, xxv. p. 43. 

^ This passage is of considerable interest. We are in the domain 
of Philonic interpretation of the Bible. Thus Clement of Alexandria, 
under the influence of Philo's allegorical interpretation, says on the 
text. Gen. xxii. 3, 4 : " Abraham, when he came to the place which 
God told him of on the third day, looking up, saw the place afar off. 
For the first day is that which is constituted by the sight of good things ; 

15 



226 



RABBI ELIEZER 



resting upon the top of the mountain, as it is sa 
the third day Abraham Hfted up his eyes, and saw^ 
afar off" (Gen. xxii. 4). What did he see? {^ 
a pillar of fire standing from the earth to the tf 
Abraham imderstood that the lad had been acce 
the perfect burnt offering. He said to Ishmael and . 
Do ye see anything upon one of those mountains ? 
said to him : No. He considered them (as dull) as 
He told them : Since ye do not see anything, " Al 
here with the ass " {ibid. 5),^ with such who are sim 
the ass.^ 

He took the wood and placed it upon the back of h 
Isaac, and he took the fire and the knife in his hand, anc 
went both of them together.^ Isaac said to his father : 
father ! Behold the fire and the wood, where is the Ian 
the burnt offering ? He replied to him : My son ! Tho 
the lamb for the burnt offering, as it is said, " And Abrt 
said, God will provide ^ for himself the lamb " {ibid. 8). 

Rabbi Simeon ^ said : The Holy One, blessed be 

on the third, the mind 



fl 



and the second is the soul's best desire 
ceives spiritual things " {Strom, v. ii). 

Our book identifies the place (cipo) with the Shekhinah, just as Pft 
does (De Somniis, i. M. i. 638, C.W. iii. p. 213) ; see Gen. Rab. Ivi. "' 
and cf. the valuable note in Weinstein's Ziir Genesis der Agada, p. 
The representation of the Shekhinah as a " Pillar of Fire " correspo 
with Philo's identification of the Logos with the " Pillar of Clou 
which at night became the " Pillar of Fire " in the wilderness, lead 
God's people to the Holy Land ; see Hellenism and Christianity, p. 
note. According to Jubilees xviii. 4 : " And he came to a well of wcr 
and he said to his young men, ' Abide ye here with the ass.' " Df 
our author intentionally vary this by substituting the " cloud 
the well ? 

1 The first editions add here : " He said to his son Isaac : My so 
dost thou see anything upon one of these mountains ? He said 
him : Yes. (Abraham) said to him : What dost thou see ? He repliei 
I see a pillar of fire standing from the earth up to the heavens." Si 
for further references to the vision of Isaac and Abraham, Gen. Ra'J 
Ivi. I, Pal. Targum, Gen. xxii. 4, and Tanchuma, Vayeia. §.Kxiii., whicll 
refers to "a cloud enwrapt on the mountain." See also jalkut. Gen 
§ 99, and the Book of Jashar xxiii., which has used our book. 

2 See T.B. Jebamoth, 62a ; Gen. Rab. Ivi. 2 ; Eccles. Rab. on Eccles 
ix. 7; T.B. Kiddushin, 68a; and Midrash Haggadol, c. 320. 

3 "The first editions add : " Just as the ass does not see anything, 
likewise do ye not see anything, as it is said : ' And Abraham said to 
his young men : Abide ye here with the ass' " (Gen. xxii. 5). 

* Cf. Gen. xxii. 6. 

^ The word might be rendered : " accept." The verse might be 
translated thus : " God will accept for Himself the lamb, i.e. my 
son." 

• The first editions read : " Ishmael." 



BINDING OF ISAAC ON THE ALTAR 227 

pointed out ^ the altar with a finger to Abraham our father, 
and said to him : This is the altar. That was the altar ^ 
whereon Cain and Abel sacrificed ; it was the same altar 
whereon Noah^ and his sons sacrificed, as it is said,* 
" And Abraham built the altar there " {ibid. 9). " And 
Abraham built an altar there " is not written here, but 
" And Abraham built the altar there." That was the altar 
whereon the first ones (of old) had sacrificed.^ 

Isaac said to his father Abraham : O my father ! Bind for 
me my two hands, and my two feet, so that I do not curse ^ 
thee ; for instance, a word may issue from the mouth because 
of the violence and dread of death, and I shall be found to 
have slighted || the precept, "Honour thy father" (Ex. xx, 12).'^ 
He bound his two hands and his two feet, and bound him 
upon the top of the altar, and he strengthened his two arms 
and his two knees ^ upon him, and put the fire and wood in 
order, and he stretched forth his hand and took the knife. 
Like a high priest ^ he brought near his meal offering, and 
his drink offering ; i" and the Holy One, blessed be He, was 
sitting and beholding the father binding with all (his) heart 
and the son bound with all (his) heart. And the ministering 
angels ^^ cried aloud and wept, as it is said, " Behold, the 

^ The Venice edition adds : " with the finger " ; see infra, pp. 382 f. 

* See supra, pp. 153, 171; see also Aboth de Rabbi Nathan (a) 
i. p. 4a; Jalkut, Gen. § loi, for a parallel text. The first editions 
add : " whereon the first man brought (his offering)." 

3 See supra, p. 171, note 8, and cf. Midrash Haggadol, c. 321. 

* The first editions quote Gen. viii. 20 also. 

* Luria suggests a variant reading, based on Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. 
xxxvi. 5. " As it is said : ' And Noah built an altar to the Lord.' 
' Abraham built there an altar ' is not written here, but ' and he built 
the altar.'" The reading in Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit., is similar; see also 
Pal. Targum, Gen. xxii. 9. 

•The Venice edition reads: "on account of reflex movement." 
Read xma'B'3, see Pesikta Rabbathi xl. (p. 170b), Tanna de be 
Elijahu Rab. xxvii. p. 138; and Tanna de be Elijahu Zutta ii. p. 174; 
and cf. Agadath Bereshith xxxi. p. 02, and Griinbaum, op. cit. p. 112. 

' See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxii. 10, and Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. 

* See Shocher Tob, Ps. xx. 8, p. 170. 

* See Lev. Rab. xxix. gf., which implies that the'Akedah (Binding 
of Isaac) was on the Day of Atonement, so that the service of 
Abraham on that occasion might be considered as resembUng that of 
the High Priest. 

1" The meal offering and the drink offering accompanied the " burnt 
offering " in the Tabernacle and Temple. 

11 Jubilees xviii. 9 reads : " And I (the angel) stood before Him, 
and before the prince of the Mastema, and the Lord said. Bid him not 
to lay his hand on the lad," 



228 RABBI ELIEZER 

Erelim ^ cry - without ; the angels of peace weep bitterly " 
(Isa. xxxiii. 7). The ministering angels said before the Holy 
One, blessed be He : Sovereign of all the worlds ! Thou 
art called merciful and compassionate, whose mercy is upon 
all His works ; ^ have mercy upon Isaac, for he is a human 
being, and the son of a human being, and is bound before Thee 
like an animal. " O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast " ; 
as it is said, " Thy righteousness is like the mighty 
mountains ; - thy judgments are like a great deep : O Lord, 
thou preservest man and beast " (Ps. xxxvi. 6). 

Rabbi Jehudah said : When the blade •* touched his neck, 
the soul of Isaac fled and departed, (but) when he heard His 
voice from between the two Cherubim,^ saying (to Abraham), 
" Lay not thine hand upon the lad " (Gen. xxii. 12), his 
soul returned to liis body, and (Abraham) set him free, and 
Isaac stood upon his feet. And Isaac knew « that in this 
manner the dead in the future will be quickened. He opened 
(his mouth), and said : Blessed art thou, O Lord, who 
quickeneth the dead.^ || 

Rabbi Zeehariah said : That ram, which was created at 
the twilight,^ ran and came to be offered up instead of 
Isaac, but Sammael ^ was standing by, and distracting it, 
in order to annul the offering of our father Abraham. And 
it was caught by its two horns in the trees, as it is said, 
" And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, 

1 i.e. angels ; see Kimchi's Book of Roots, s.v. .tin. Cf. T.B. 
Chagigah, 5b ; Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 73, note i ; and cf. 
Gen. Rab. Ivi. 5, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 322. 

* The quotation ends here in our MS. 
^ Cf. Ps. cxlv. 9. 

•• Lit. " sword." See Midrash Haggadol, c. 323. 

* See supra, p. 24. Cf. Heb. xi. 19. 

« The first editions add : " of the resurrection of the dead from the 
Torah." The connection with the word Torah is not quite clear, 
and the word should be probably deleted. See Rokeach, 322, and 
cf. Brode's comment, in loc. The Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit., reads :" He 
knew that in the future He would revive the dead." 

' This is the second benediction of the Shemoneh 'Esreh ; see Singer, 
p. 45. The benediction is appropriately placed in Isaac's' mouth, for 
he had also been bound unto death and then set free. The benediction 
speaks of the loosening of the bound, as well as of the resurrection. 

8 Of the eve of the first Sabbath; see supra, p. 12;. 

» See Jubilees xviii. 12 : " And the prince of the Mastema was put 
to shame. And Abraham Ufted up his eyes and looked, and behold, 
a single ram caught and it came (?)." The word translated "and 
distracting it" is Masteno ; it reminds one of Mastema of Jubilees. 
See also Midrash Haggadol, c. 324. 



BINDING OF ISAAC ON THE ALTAR 229 

behind him a ram caught in the thicket by its horns " 
(ibid. 13). What did that ram do ? It put forth its leg and 
took hold of the coat of our father Abraham, and Abraham 
looked, saw the ram, and he went and set it free. He offered 
it up instead of Isaac his son, as it is said, " And Abraham 
went and took the ram,^ and offered it up for a burnt offering 
in the stead of his son " (ibid.). 

Rabbi Berachiah said : The sweet savour (of the ram) 
ascended before the Holy One, blessed be He, as though it 
were the sweet savour of Isaac,- and He swore that He 
would bless him ^ in this world and in the world to come, 
as it is said, " By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, 
because thou hast done this thing " ; and it says, " That 
in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will 
multiply thy seed, as the stars of the heaven " {ibid. 16, 17). 
" That in blessing " (refers) to this world ; " I will bless 
thee," in the world to come; and "I will greatly multiply 
thy seed," in the future that is to come. 

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa said : ^ From that ram, which 
was created at the twilight, nothing came forth which was 
useless.^ The ashes of the ram ^ were || the base ' which 
was upon the top of the inner altar.^ The sinews of the 
ram were the strings ^ of the harp whereon David played. 
The ram's skin ^^ was the girdle (around) the loins of Elijah, 
may he be remembered for good, as it is said, " And 
they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with 

^ The quotation ends here in our MSS. 

^ See ?ohar. Gen. 120b. 

' See Jalkut, loc. cit., and Apoc. Baruch, loc. cit. 

* See Jalkut, Isa. § 436, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 325. 

* See Mishnah, ZelDachim ix. 5, as to the parts of a burnt offering 
which were not offered on the altar. 

* See supra, p. 204, and of. T.B. ?ebachim, 62a. 

' Or, foundation. Does the text here refer to the horns of the 
altar ? or should the text read, " the foundation whereon (stood) the 
inner altar" ? See Midrash Haggadol, loc. cit. 

* The first editions add here : "as it is said : ' And Aaron 
shall make atonement upon the horns of it once in the year ' " (Ex. 
XXX. 10). 

® Read Nimin instead of Nebalim, and see supra, p. 127. The 
first editions read : " The sinews of the ram were ten, corresponding 
to the ten strings of the harp," etc. According to one tradition the 
harp of David had only eight strings, and it is the harp of the Messiah 
which is to have ten strings. See Josephus, Ant. vii. 12. 3, and of. 
Pesikta Rabbathi, pp. 98b f. 

'o The inference here is drawn from the word '"Or" (iij;), leather. 



230 RABBI ELIEZER 



o 



a girdle of leather about his loins " (2 Kings i. 8).^ The horn 
of the ram of the left side^ (was the one) wherein He blew 
upon Mount Sinai, as it is said, " And it shall come to pass, 
that when the ram's horn soundeth long " "* (Josh. vi. 5). 
(The horn) of the right side, which is larger than that of 
thij left, is destined in the future to be sounded in the 
world that is to come,^ as it is said, " And it shall come 
to pass in that day, that a great trumpet shall be blown " 
(Isa. xxvii. 13);^ and it is said, "And the Lord shall be 
king over all the earth " (Zech. xiv. 9). 

Rabbi Isaac said : Nothing has been created except 
by the merit of worship. Abraham returned from Mount 
Moriah only through the merit of worship, as it is said, 
" We will worship, and come again to you" (Gen. xxii. 5).^ 
The Temple was fashioned only through the merit of worship, 
as it is said, " Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship " 
(Ps. xcix. 5).^ 

' The first editions have a corrupt quotation based on 2 Kings i., 
verses 6 and 8. The MS. only quotes the few words : " He was an 
hairy man," etc. 

- See Othijoth de Rabbi 'Akiba, letter T ; od. J; !li-.ck, B.H.M. iii. p. 
31 ; and Rokeach. 203. The first editions read : " the two horns." 

^ The first editions read here : " Wherein the Holy One, blessed 
be He, blew upon Mount Sinai." See Midrash Haggadol. loc. cit. 

* The Oxford MS. and th*^ first editions quote Ex. xix. ig. 

* The first editions add : " at the ingathering of the exiles." 

* The inference here is derived from the word " great," implying 
the right side. On the subject of the Messianic trump, see Abkath 
Rochel i., and cf. i Cor. xv. 52. 

^ The Midrash Samuel led. Buber) iii. 7 contains a good parallel text, 
which is much fuller than our MS. It adds here : " The Israehtes were 
redeemed from Egypt only in consequence of worship, as it is said : 
'And the people bowed the head and worshipped' (Ex. xii. 27). The 
Torah was given only through the merit of worship, because it is said : 
' And worship ye afar off ' " {ibid. xxiv. i). See jalkut, Gen. § 100. 

* The Midrash Samuel, loc. cit., adds here : " The dead also will 
only be quickened through the merit of worship, as it is said : ' O 
come, let us worship and bow down ' (Ps. xcv. 6). The exiles will 
only be gathered in again owing to the merit of worship, as it is said : 
' And it shall come to pass in that day. that a great trumpet shall be 
blown ; and they shall come which were lost in the land of Assvria, 
and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall 
worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem' " (Isa. xxvii. 13). 
See also Gen. Rab. Ivi. 2, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 320!. On the entire 
chapter see the Book of Jashar xxiii. ; Tanchuma (ed. Buber), Gen. p. 
57a, b ; Tanchuma, Vayera, § xxiii. ; and Midrash Agadah, Gen. pp. 50 fi. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

THE DEATH OF SARAH AND THE STORY OF ISAAC AND 
REBECCA [39b. i.J 

Six (people) were called by their names before they were 
created,^ and they are : Isaac, Ishmael, Moses,^ Solomon, 
Josiah, and King Messiah.^ 

Whence do we know about Ishmael ? Because it is said, 
" And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art 
with child,* . . . and thou shalt call his name Ishmael " (Gen. 
xvi. 11). Why was his name || called Ishmael?^ Because 
in the future the Holy One, blessed be He, will hearken to 
the cry^ of the people arising from (the oppression) which 
the children of Ishmael will bring about in the land in the 
last (days) ; ' therefore was his name called Ishmael.^ 

^ In Mekhilta, Bo. xvi. p. 19a; only Isaac, Solomon, and Josiah are 
mentioned. See Agadath Bereshith, 65, and Midrnsh Hasgadol, c. 246. 
In T.J. Berakhoth i. 8 four names are mentioned, the three as in the 
Mekhilta and, in addition, Ishmael ; cf. Gen. Rab. xlv. 8. In T.B. ChuUin, 
139b, the name of Moses is mentioned, as also the names of Mordecai, 
Esther, and Haman, all these names being hinted at in the Torah. Luria 
observes that Cyrus (Is. xliv. 28 and xlv. i) should have been mentioned 
in the list of people named before their birth. This fact would not warrant 
the inference that all these people were pre-existent. This reasoning 
is, however, often applied to the name of the Messiah, as though it 
meant that the Messiah pre-existed because his name was named 
before his birth ; see Hellenism and Christianity, p. i 7. 

2 The first editions add : " our Rabbi," or " our teacher." 
^ The first editions read : " the name of the Messiah." The Amster- 
dam edition reads : " our Messiah." The first editions add : " May 
the Holy One, blessed be He, cause him to come speedily in our days." 

* The first editions omit this part of the verse, and give the second 
half only. 

^ Ishma-e/ is interpreted as meaning "God will hear"; cl. Gen. xvi. 1 1 . 

* The first editions read : " the voice of the cry." 

" The MS. omits " days." It occurs in the first editions. The refer- 
ence is to the time of woe preceding the coming of the Messiah. See 
supra, pp. 221 f., and cf. Matt. xxiv. 3 ff. for the Messianic woes. 

* The first editions add : " as it is said, ' God shall hear and answer 
them ' " (Ps. Iv. 19). The Hebrew for " God shall hear" contains the 
same letters as the Hebrew word Ishmael. 

231 



232 RABBI ELIEZER 

How do wc know (this with reference to) Isaac ? Be- 
cause it is said, "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear 
thee a son indeed ; and thou shalt call his name Isaac " 
{ibid. xvni. 19). Why was his name called Isaac ? ^ Be- 
cause Yad (the first Hebrew letter of Isaac indicates) the 
ten trials 2 wherewith our father Abraham was tried ; 
and he withstood them all. Zaddi (the second letter 
indicates) the ninety (years), for his mother was ninety 
years (at the birth of Isaac), as it is said, " And shall Sarah, 
that is ninety years old, bear ? " {ibid. 17). Cheth (the 
third letter points to) the eighth (day), for he was circum- 
cised on the eighth day, as it is said, " And Abraham 
circumcised his son Isaac, being eight days old " {ibid. xxi. 4). 
Kuf (the fourth letter of the name marks) the hundred 
(years), for his father was an hundred years old (at Isaac's 
birth), as it is said, " And Abraham was an himdred years 
old " {ibid. 5). 

Whence do wc know about Moses ? ^ Because it is said, 
" And the Lord said. My spirit shall not abide in man for 
ever in their going astray " {ibid. vi. 3). What is the im- 
plication (of the expression), " In their going astray " ? * 
Retrospectively his name was called Moses.'' For the life 
of Moses was one hundred and twenty years, as it is said, 
" His days shall be an hundred and twenty years " {ibid.). 

Whence do we know concerning Solomon ? Because 
it is said, " Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall 
be a man of rest, . . . for his name shall be Solomon " 

1 See Midrash Haggadol, c. 256 ; Agadath Bereshith, 53 ; Gen. Rab. 
liii. 7: and Tanchuma (ed. Buber), Gen. 54a. Jubilees xvi. 3 says: 
" And we told her (Sarah) the name of her son, as his name is ordained 
and written in the heavenly tables, (i.e.) Isaac." 

^ The Agadath Bereshith, loc. cit., refers to the Ten Commandments. 
The context in our author agrees with Tanchuma, Korah, ^ xii. 

^ See T.B. Chullin, 139b. The name of Moses is said to be hinted 
at in Ps. xviii. i6 : "He drew me out ('jb'S') of many waters." The 
word Moses is connected with the root " to draw out " in Hebrew. 

* The first editions read : " The word ' in their going astray ' has the 
same numerical value as (the name) Moses" (nB'D = MShH). SccR.V. inloc. 

° B =2, Sh =300, G =3, M =40 =345. 
M=40, Sh=300, H=5 =345- 

This system is known as Gcmatria, and was also known to and used 
by some of the Church Fathers; see Irenaeus, adv. Har. v. xxx. iff., 
where he speaks of the number of the name of the Antichrist ; see also 
Clement of Alexandria, Strom, vi. ch. xi. According to Jastrow, T.D. 
239a, this word is a transposition of the word ypa/xfiana, " accounts"; 
see also'Arukh, ed. Kohut, ii. p. 309b. 



THE DEATH OF SARAH 233 

(1 Chron. xxii. 9).i Why was his name called Solomon ? 
Because his name was called Solomon in the Aramaic 
language, as it is said, " I will give peace (Shalom) and 
quietness unto Israel in his days" (ibid.).^ \\ 

Whence do we know about Josiah ? Because it is said, 
" Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, 
Josiah by name " (1 Kings xiii. 2), Why was his name 
called Josiah ? (Because he was as acceptable) ^ as an 
offering upon the altar ; she ^ said : A worthy offering let 
him be before Thee.^ Therefore was his name called Josiah, 
as it is said, " And he cried against the altar," etc. {ibid. 2). 

Whence do we know concerning King Messiah ? Because 
it is said, " His name shall endure for ever. Before the sun 
his name shall be continued (Yinnon) " (Ps. Ixxii. 17).^ 
Why was his name called Yinnon ? For he will awaken ' 
those who sleep at Hebron out of the dust of the earth, 
therefore is his name called Yinnon, as it is said, " Before 
the sun his name is Yinnon" (ibid.). 

When Abraham returned from Mount Moriah in peace, the 
anger of Sammael ^ was kindled, for he saw that the desire 
of his heart to frustrate the offering of our father Abraham 

^ The Venice edition reads : " and thou shalt call his name Solomon, 
because." See Midrash Haggadol, c. 246. 

2 The name nchef (Solomon) is connected with ai'^c (peace) . See 
also 2 Sam. xii. 24, with Kimchi's commentary thereon. The Aramaic 
Sh'lama (peace) is somewhat similar to the Hebrew name Sh'lomoh 
(=Solomon). The printed texts omit the words " his name was called 
Solomon in the Aramaic language." 

^ The words in brackets do not occur in the MS., but they are found 
in the first editions. 

* The reference is probably to the mother. The first editions omit 
this. 

* See Jalkut on i Kings xiii. § 200. The name Josiah (i.tivk') is 
interpreted as though it were Kin 'c 'n', " he is worthy hke a lamb." 
The next sentence is found only in the MS. 

^ See' Arukh, ed. Kohut, iv. p. 141a, s.v. p:, in the sense of "offspring " ; 
cf. Gen. xxi. 23. Gesenius (Oxford edition) renders Ps. Ixxii. 17 : 
" Let his name have increase." See Parchon's Heh. Diet, s.v., and note 
Jalkut, loc. cit., which says : " He will stir up all the evil ones of the earth 
(in the future) " ; cf. Jalkut, Gen. § 45, and Midrash Hagajadol, loc. cit. 

'' See Ibn Ezra on this verse of Ps. Ixxii. See also T.B. Synhedrin, 
95a, and supra, p. 230. 'Arukh, loc. cit., reads: "in the future he will 
bring to life those who sleep in the dust, therefore is his name called 
Yinnon." See also supra, p. 12. 

* Midrash Haggadol, c. 324, reads, "Satan." On Sammael's dis- 
comfiture see Jubilees xviii. 9 and 12. The name Sammael {i.e. the 
Devil) occurs in Christian books, e.g. in the Acts of Andrew and 
Matthew (in A.N.C.L. xvi. p. 362). 



234 RABBI ELIEZER 

had not been realized. What did he do ? He went and 
said to Sarah : Hast thou not heard what has happened in 
the world ? She said to him : No. He said to her : Thy 
husband, Abraham,^ has taken thy son Isaac and slain him 
and offered him up as a burnt offering upon the altar.'- She 
began to weep and to cry aloud three times, ^ corresponding 
to the three sustained notes (of the Shophar),"* and (she gave 
forth) three bowlings corresponding to the three discon- 
nected short notes ^ (of the Shopliar), and her soul fled, and 
she died.*" 

Abraham came and found that she was dead. Whence 
did he come ? From Mount Moriah," as it is said, " And 
Abraham came to mourn for Sarah " (Gen. xxiii. 2). 

Rabbi Jose said : Isaac observed mourning during three 
years* || for his mother. After three years he married 
Rebecca, and forgot the mourning for his mother.'' Hence 
thou mayest learn that until a man marries a wife his love 
centres in his parents. When he marries a wife his love is 
bestowed upon his wife, as it is said, " Therefore shall a 
man leave his father and his mother, and he shall cleave unto 
his wife " {ibid. ii. 24). Does a man then leave ^" his father 
and mother with reference to the precept, " Honour " ? ^^ 
But the love of his soul cleaves unto his wife, as it is said, 
" And his soul clave (unto Dinah) " {ibid, xxxiv. 3) ; and it 
says, " And he shall cleave unto his wife " {ibid. ii. 24). 

1 See Tanchuma (cd. Buber), Gvn. :.jh; Pesikta Rabbullu xl. ; 
Jalkut, Gen. sj 98 ; T.B. Gittin, 57b, and the Book of Jashar xxiii. 77. 
The first editions omit Abraham and read " the old man." 

- The first editions add : " And the lad wept, and cried aloud because 
he could not be saved." 

' Lit. " weepings." 

* i.e. the Teki'oth. 

* This is the "Teru'a"; cf. MLshnah, Rosh Ha-Shanab (iv. 9), 
p. 16a. 

* See Lev. Rab. xx. 2. and Eccles. Rab. to Ecclcs. ix. i. According 
to these Midrashim it is Isaac who tells Sarah the story of the ' Akedah. 
See Tanchuma, in loc. According to this version Satan, in the guise 
of Isaac, tells the tale. See also Midrash Haggadol. !oc. cit. 

' See Pal. Targum, Gen. in loc. According to the Book of Jashar 
xxiii. 84, Sarah went to look for Abraham, but died at Hebron. Also 
according to Jubilees xix. 2, Sarah died at Hebron. 

* At the 'Akedah, Isaac was 37 years old, and when he married 
Rebecca he was 40 years. For an instance of three years of mourning 
see 2 Sam. xiii. 38 f. See Midrasli Haspadol, c. 388. 

• " Sarah his mother " is the reading in the first editions. 
'"Or" forsake." 
*' " Honour thy father and thy mother " (Ex. xx. 12). 



THE DEATH OF SARAH 235 

Rabbi Jehudah said: Rebecca^ was barren for twenty- 
years. After twenty years (Isaac) took Rebecca and went 
(^vith her) to Mount Moriah, to the place where he had been 
bound, and he prayed on her behalf concerning the concep- 
tion of the womb; and the Holy One, blessed be He, was 
entreated of him,^ as it is said, " And Isaac intreated the 
Lord " (ibid. xxv. 21). The children were contending with 
one another ^ within her womb like mighty warriors, as it is 
said, "And the children struggled together within her " {ihid. 
22). The time of her confinement came round, and her soul was 
nigh unto death owing to her pains.* And she went to pray in 
the place ' whither she and Isaac had gone, as it is said, " And 
she went to inquire of the Lord " (ibid.). What did the Holy 
One, blessed be He,« do ? Jacob took hold of the heels of 
Esau to make him fall, as it is said, " And after that came 
forth his brother, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel " 
{ibid. 26). Hence thou may est learn that the descend- 
ants of Esau will not fall until a remnant || from Jacob will 
come and cut off the feet of the children of Esau from the 
mountain of Seir, as it is said, " Forasmuch as thou sawest 
that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands " 
(Dan. ii. 45).^ Another Scripture text says, " Vengeance 
is mine, and a recompence,^ at the time when their foot shall 
slide " (Deut. xxxii. 35). 

Rabbi Tanchuma ^ said : The two lads grew up ; the one 
went by the way of life, and the other went by the way of 
deathji" as it is said, " And the boys grew, and Esau was a 
cunning hunter " (Gen. xxv. 27). Jacob went on the way 

^ The Book of Jashar xxvi. 3 says : " And Isaac and his wife rose up 
and went to the land of Moriah to pray there and to seek the Lord." 
See also T.B. Jebamoth, 64a, and Pal. Targum, Gen. xxv. 21. 

^According to the Midrash Agadah, Toledoth, p. 21, God hearkened 
to his prayer because " he was righteous and the son of a righteous 
man." 

^ See Gen. Rab. Ixiii. 6 for the cause of the struggle. Cf. Pal. 
Targum, Gen. xxv. 22. 

* See Book of Jashar xxvi. 9 ; Jalkut, Gen. § no. 

° The Book of Jashar xxvi. 10 says: "And she went to the land 
of Moriah to seek the Lord on account of this." 

^ The first editions omit the words : " the Holy One, blessed be 
He." 

' The first editions quote here Dan. ii. 34. See Josephus, Ant. x. i o. 4. 

* The MS. only quotes thus far, the first editions continue the verse. 

* The first editions read : " R. Acha." 

'» See supra, p. 102, for the " two ways." 



236 RABBI ELIEZER 

of life, for he was dwelling in tents, ^ and he studied the 
Torah all his days.- Esau Avent on the way of death, 
because he slew Nimrod and his son Chavir, and he almost 
sought to kill Jacob his brother, as it is said, " The days of 
mourning for my father are at hand, and I will slay my 
brother Jacob" (ibid, xxvii. 41). 

Rabbi Simeon said : In the hour when Isaac was bound, he 
lifted up his eyes heavenwards and saw the glory of the 
Shekhinah, as it is written, " For man shall not see me and 
live" (Ex. xxxiii. 20). Instead of death his eyes grew dim •' 
in his old age, as it is said, " And it came to pass, that when 
Isaac was old, that his eyes were dim, so that he could not 
see " (Gen. xxvii. 1). Hence thou mayest learn that the 
blind man is as though he were dead.'* 

The night-fall of the festival day of Passover eame,^ 
and Isaac called unto Esau his elder son, and said : O my 
son ! To-night the heavenly ones ^ utter songs,^ on this night 
the treasuries* of dew* are opened ; on this day the blessing 
of the dews (is bestowed). Make me savoury meat whilst I 
am still ahve, and I will bless thee. 1| The Holy Spirit rejoined, 
saying to him : " Eat thou not the bread of him that hath 
an evil eye,^" neither desire thou his dainties " (Prov. xxiii. 6). 
He went to fetch it, and was delayed there.^^ Rebecca said 
to Jacob his (other) son : i- On this night the treasuries of dew 

1 According to the Targumim, in loc, the " tents " are the 
" academies." See Jalkut, Gen., loc. cit. 

^ The first editions read : " And Esau the wicked was going the way 
of death to slay our father Jacob, as it is said : ' The days of mourning 
for my father are at hand ; then will I slay my brother Jacob' " (Gen. 
xxvii. 41). 

^ See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 78 f., and of. Jalkut, Gen. 

§ 114- 

* See T.B. Nedarim, 64a, and Gen. Rib. l.xv. 10. 

* See supra, p. 153. See also the Vilna Gaon on Orach Chayyim, 
583 (108). Cf. Heb. xi. 20 on the theme in our text. 

* Jalkut, Gen., loc. c it., reads : " All the heavenly ones sing a song " ; 
see Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvii. i . 

' Pss. cxiii.-cxviii. 

* Cf. Slavonic Enoch vi. and Eih. Enoch Ix. 20. and supra. 
p. 17, for this expression; and see T.B. Chagigah, 12b; and T.B. 
Ta'anith, 4b. 

^ The text is in the plural, " dews " here and throughout the chapter. 
The prayer for dew forms part of the liturgy for the first day of 
Passover. 

" In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

" See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 82. 

^2 The first editions read : " Rebecca said to Jacob, O my son ! " 



THE DEATH OF SARAH 237 

will be opened, and on this night the angels utter a song.^ 
Make savoury meat for thy father, that he may eat and 
whilst he still lives he may bless thee. 

Now (Jacob) was skilled in the Torah,- and his heart 
dreaded the curse of his father. His mother said to him : 
My son ! If it be a blessing, may it be upon thee and upon thy 
seed ; if it be a curse, let it be upon me ^ and upon my soul, 
as it is said, " And his mother said to him, Upon me be 
thy curse, my son " (Gen. xxvii. 13). He went and brought 
two kids of the goats. Were two kids of the goats the food 
for Isaac ? But he brought one as a Paschal offering,^ and 
with the other he prepared the savoury meat to eat ; and he 
brought it to his father,^ and he said to him : " Arise, I pray 
thee, sit and eat of my venison " {ibid. 19).^ Isaac 
said : " The voice is the voice of Jacob " {ibid. 22). Jacob 
(declares) the unity of God. " The voice is the voice of 
Jacob " ^ {ibid.) in the meditation of the Torah. " And 
the hands are the hands of Esau " {ibid.), in all shedding of 
blood and in every evil death. Not only this, but also when 
they proclaim in heaven, " The voice is the voice of Jacob," 
the heavens tremble.^ And when they proclaim on earth, 
" The voice is the voice of Jacob " {ibid.), every one who hears 

1 The first editions add : "On this night in the future thy children 
will be redeemed from the power of bondage ; on this night in the future 
they will sing a song." See T.B. Sotah, 12b, and Wisdom xviii. 6. 

* He should have fulfilled the desire of his father ; see T.B. Kid- 
dushin, 31a, and Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvii. 6, 1 1. 

' So also Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvii. 13. 

* The first editions read : " Would not one fgoat) have been suffi- 
cient for him ? As it is said : ' The righteous eateth to the satisfying 
of his soul ' (Prov. xiii. 25). But one (goat) corresponded to the 
Paschal Lamb." ^ 

* The first editions add here : " For we are taught in a Mishnah ; 
the Pasclial Lamb is brought only when one is satisfied with food. He 
entered," etc. 

« See Rashi, in loc. ; Zohar, Gen. 154a ; and cf. Derekh Erez Zutta v. 
on the rule as to eating in a sitting posture. 

' The unity of God proclaimed by the " voice of Jacob" is applied 
to the declaration of the children of Israel who exclaim : " Hear, O 
Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one " (Deut. vi. 4). 

* See infra, p. 282; Gen. Rab. Ixvi. 4; Pesikta Rabbathi xxi. 
p. 99b ; Rokeach, 362. The ist ed. reads here : " And when they 
proclaim on earth, 'The voice is the voice of Jacob' (Gen. xx^'ii. 22), 
every one who hears and does not obey, his portion is with ' the hands 
which are the hands of Esau ' " [ibid.). 



' See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvii. 9, and Rashi on Gen., in loc, and 
T.B. Pesachim, 114b. 



238 RABBI ELIEZER 

will make his portion with " The voice which is the voice of 
Jacob." And every one || who does not hear and does not 
act (obediently), liis portion is with " The hands, which are 
the hands of Esau." 

Rabbi Jehudah said : Isaac blessed Jacob with ten 
blessings concerning the dews of heaven and the corn of the 
earth, corresponding to the ten words ^ whereby the world 
was created, as it is said, " And God give thee of the dew 
of the heaven" {ibid. 28); "Let peoples serve thee, . . ." 
{ibid. 29). When Jacob went forth from the presence of 
his father Isaac, he went forth crowned like a bridegroom, 
and like a bride in her adornment,'- and the quickening dew 
from heaven descended upon him, and refreshed his bones, ^ 
and he also became a mighty hero ; therefore it is said, 
" By the hands of the mighty Jacob, from thence is the 
shepherd, the stone * of Israel " {ibid. xlix. 24). 

^ Ma'amaroth ; see Lev. Rab. xxxiv. (end) ; Deut. Rab. i. 14. 
" See supra, pp. 40, 1121. ; and cf. Isa. xlix. 18. 

* The words are based on Prov. xv. 30. 

* See infra, p. 268. The R.V. should be noted. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN ^ [41a. i.J 

" And 2 Isaac sowed in that land " (Gen. xxvi. 12). Rabbi 
Eliezer said : Did Isaac sow the seed of corn ? ^ Heaven 
forbid ! But he took all his wealth/ and sowed it in charity 
to the needy, as it is said, " Sow to yourselves in righteous- 
ness, reap according to love " (Hos. x. 12).^ Everything 
which he tithed, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent him ''-^ 
return) one hundred times (the value) in different k' 
blessings, as it is said, " And he found in the same 
hundredfold : and the Lord blessed him " (Gen. xxvi" 
Rabbi Simeon said : Owing to the power of || chai 
dead will be quickened ^ in the future. Whence do W 
this ? From Elijah the Tishbite.' For he betook I 

^ This chapter seems to be the Midrash to the Haphtarah of 
(Gen. xvii.-xxii.), illustrating the resurrection experienced by 
at the 'Akedali. The Book of Jonah, which formed the conte 
Chapter X., is the Haphtarah in the afternoon service on the L 
Atonement. 

2 The first editions read : " It is written : ' And Isaac sowed,' ' 

* The patriarchs were not to settle in Canaan ; therefore they 
not devote themselves to the agricultural life. Their wealth wai. 
their flocks, which could be easily removed as occasion demande 
See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvi. 12 ; Jalkut, Gen. § iii ; and infra, p. 289 

* Lit. "his mammon"; see Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the 
Mount, p. 109. The tithe had been observed by Abraham; see 
Gen. xiv. 20, and therefore Isaac also gave a tithe. See Num. Rab. 
xii. 1 1 . The first editions read : " But he took a tithe of all his wealth." 

* See Tanaa de be Elijahu Zutta (ed. Friedmann), i. p. 167. 

* See Prov. xi. 4. Isaac's charity and righteousness are assumed 
here to have been the cause of his resurrection ; another cause 
was the '"Akedah"; see supra, p. 228. The first benediction of 
the Shemoneh ' Esreh, as we have already seen, refers to Abraham ; 
the second benediction refers to the resurrection, and therefore to 
Isaac, the first to experience this. 

' The dead son of Elijah's hostess was quickened by God at the 
request of the prophet. The first editions add here : " For he was 
going from mountain to mountain, and from cave to cave." This is 
based on 2 Kings ii. i ff. 

239 

16 " 



240 RABBI ELIEZER 

to Zarephath, and a woman (who was) a widow received 
him with great honour.^ She was the mother of Jonah,'^ 
and they were eating and drinking ^ his ^ bread and oil ; 
he, she, and her son, as it is said, " And she did eat, and 
he also " (1 Kings xvii. 15).^ 

" He and she " (indicate that it was) by the merit of 

Elijah that they had to eat. After (a period of) days, the 

son of the woman fell sick and died,^ as it is said, " And 

it came to pass after these things that the son of the woman 

fell sick " {ibid. 17). The woman said to him (Elijah) : 

Tnou didst come unto me ^ for coition, and thou wilt bring 

my sin to remembrance against me, and my son is dead. 

Now take away all that which thou hast brought ^ to me, 

and give me my son. Elijah, may he be remembered for 

good, arose and prayed before the Holy One, blessed be 

He, and said before Him : Sovereign of all the worlds ! 

T ■' not enough (to endure) all the evils which have befallen 

t also this woman ; for I know ^° that out of sorrow 

on has she spoken of a matter which has not occurred, 

le has brought against me to vex me.^^ Now let 

generations learn ^^ that there is a resurrection of the 

nd restore the soul of this lad within him ; and He 

• giving him the Uttle she possessed and trusting in his word. 
ina de be EHjahu Rab. xviii. p. 97. 

•e T.J. Sukkah v. i. 55a; Gen. Rab. xcviii. 11; and see also 
ii. 226. 

.'he Jalkut, i Kings, §209, omits the words "and drinking"; 
.B. Berakhoth, 35b. People did not drink oil, it was eaten with 
d, etc. 

■ The first editions read " her " here. 

^ The first editions add : " Rabbi Levi said : It is written, ' He and 

le,' but we read, ' She and he.' " The Massorites afford numerous 

examples of this variation in the reading of the written text. See 

Berliner, Midrash Keri and Kethib; see also Cant. Rab. ii. 4; and 

Kimchi on i Kings xviii. 15; and cf. J.E. viii. 368. 

* The text does not state that the child died ; see Maimonides, 
Moreh Nebukhim, i. 42 ; Kimchi, in loc. ; cf. T.B. Niddah, yob, and T.B. 
Chullin, 7b. 

'The MS. and first editions add: "for coition." The text reads: 
" Thou art come unto me to bring my sin to remembrance and to slay 
my .son" (1 Kings xvii. 18). The Midrash connect.s nx'a ("coiHon") 
with T\«z {" thou art come") ; see Gesenius (Oxford ed.) p. q8a. 

* The blessing on the meal and oil. 

* Lit. " which have come over my head." 

1" Luria holds that the text should read: " For Thou knowest " ; 
cf. Jalkut, loc. cit. 

" The printed editions read : " to provoke me " : cf. Job ix. 20. 
'* From the resurrection of her son. 



ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 241 

was entreated of him, as it is said, " And the Lord hearkened 
unto the voice of EHjah " {ibid. 22). Another Scripture 
text says, " And Elijah || took the child . . . See, thy son 
liveth " {ibid. 23).i 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : Art thou astonished 
at this ? - Do not be astonished, come and see, (learn) 
from Elisha, the son of Shaphat, for no woman was able 
to gaze at his face without dying ; and he went from mount 
to mount, and from cave to cave, and he went to Shimem, 
and a great woman received him with great honour. She 
was a sister of Abishag,^ the Shvmammite, the mother ^ of 
Oded, the prophet, as it is said, " And it fell on a day, that 
Elisha passed to Shunem " (2 Kings iv. 8), and the woman 
said to her husband : This man of God is (holy),^ no woman 
is able to gaze at his face without dying ; but,^ " Let us 
make, I pray thee, a little chamber on the wall ; and let us 
set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a 
lampstand " {ibid. 10). And every time that he passes he 
can turn thither into the chamber,'' as it is said, " And it 
fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the 
chamber " {ibid. 11). And he called for the Shunammite, 
as it is said, " And he said. Call her. And when he had 
called her, she stood at the door " {ibid. 15). Why did 
she stand at the door ? Because she was imable to gaze 
at his face,^ so that she should not die. He said to her : 

^ This concludes the exposition of R. Simeon on the Resurrection 
and Charity. The second quotation is not given in the printed texts. 
2 That charity causes the dead to be quickened. 
^ Abishag hved at the close of David's reign ; see J.E. i. 66. 

* The first editions read : " the wife of Iddo." Iddo lived in the reign 
of Jeroboam. See Seder 'Olam Rab. xx. ; and cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 89b 
and 104a; Tanchuma. Toledoth, § xii. Jalkut, 2 Kings § 228, reads: 
"The mother of Iddo the prophet." Luria, with fine judgment, suggested 
that Iddo of the printed texts should be corrected into " Oded," the 
prophet who lived in the reign of Asa. See 2 Chron. xv. 8 ; see also 
Rashi on 2 Kings iv. 8, where our P.R.E. is mentioned. 

* " Holy" is not in the MS., but it occurs in the first two editions. 

* " As it is said " is added by the first editions ; it does not occur 
in the parallel context in Jalkut, Kings, loc. cit., which reads as our MS., 
" But ' Let us make,' " etc. 

'The first editions and Jalkut, loc. cit., add: " They built it, and 
prepared and arranged it. After some time ^ he passed by Shunem 
and turned in to the chamber." 

* See Lev. Rab. xxiv. 6, and Sepher Chassidim (ed. Fi'ankfort, 
1724), 178. 

1 Lit. " days." 
16 



242 RABBI ELIE^ER 

" At this season, when the time cometh round, thou shalt 
embrace a son " {ibid. 16), the fruit of thy womb. She said 
to him : My lord is very old, and the way of women has 
departed from me, || and it is impossible to do this thing.^ 
" Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine 
handmaid " {ibid.).'^ 

Rabbi Zechariah said : " He will fulfil the desire of them 
that fear him " (Ps. cxlv. 19).^ The Holy One, blessed be 
He, fulfilled the desire of the prophet. She conceived and 
bare, and the child grew. He went forth to refresh ^ him- 
self, and to look at the reapers. A mishap overtook him,^ 
and he died, as it is said, " It fell on a day, that he went 
out to his father to the reapers" (2 Kings iv. 18); this 
restrained them (from work) until he came (among them),^ 
and he died, as it is said, " And he sat on her knees till 
noon, and then died " {ibid. 20). 

The woman went to Mount Carmel, and fell on her face 
to the ground before Elisha, saying to him : Would that my 
vessel ^ had remained empty ! But it was filled, and now 
its contents are spilt. The prophet answered : Everything 
which the Holy One, blessed be He, doeth. He telleth to 
me, but He has hidden this matter, as it is said, " And 
when she came to the man of God ^ . . . and Gehazi came 
near to thrust her away " ^ {ibid. 27). What is the meaning 
of " to thrust her away " ? To teach us that he put his hand 
upon (her) pride, which was upon her breasts, ^° as it is said, 
" And the man of God said. Let her alone ^^ . . . and the 
Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me " {ibid.), 

1 Luria's reads: " This thing cannot possibly be." 
^ See Kimchi, in loc, who uses the same words as our author, based 
on the quotation in our context in connection with Ps. cxlv. 19. 
3 Cf. T.B. MegiUah, 27a. 

* See'Arukh. ed. Kohut vi. p. 288b, s.v. 3D ; cf. Lam. ii. 18. 

* See T.J. Jebamoth xv. 2, i4d. 

* The phrase, " this restrained them until he came," is in Aramaic 
and occurs only in our MS. Its meaning is doubtful. Is it an old 
Targum ? 

' See 2 Kings iv. 3 ; 'Sd (vessel; is used euphemistically here, mean- 
ing " womb." 

* In our MS. the quotation ends here. 

* The Midrash here has a play on the word " lehadphah," inter- 
preting it as though it were " lehod japhjah," " the glory of her beauty," 
i.e. the breasts; see T.B. Berakhoth, lob, and T.J. Jebamoth ii. 4. 3d. 

'^ See Lev. Rab., loc. cit. 

" The rest of the verse given by our MS. is omitted in the printed 
editions. 



ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 243 

He took the staff which was in his hand, and gave it to 
Gehazi, saying to him : Do not speak with thy mouth any 
word at all ; know that ^ thou goest and placest the staff 
upon the face of the lad, that he may live. 

Now as for Gehazi, the matter was laughable in his 
eyes,- and to every man whom he met || he said : Dost thou 
believe that this staff will bring the dead to life ? Therefore 
he did not succeed ^ until (Elisha) went on foot and put his 
face ^ upon the face (of the child), and his eyes upon his 
eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and he began to pray 
before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign of all the 
worlds ! Just as Thou didst perform miracles by the hand 
of Elijah, my master, and brought the dead to life, likewise 
let this child live ; and He was entreated of him, as it is 
said, " Then he returned, and walked in the house once 
to and fro ; and went up, and stretched himself upon 
him" (ibid. 35); "and the child sneezed seven times" 
{ibid.). 

Rabbi Azariah ^ said : Know thou the efficacy of charity.^ 
Come and see from the instance of Shallum,' son of Tikvah, 
who was one of the important men of his generation, giving 
charity every day. What did he do ? He filled the bottle 
with water, and sat at the entrance of the city, and he would 
give water to every person who came on the way, restor- 
ing his soul to him.^ On account of the charity which 
he did, the Holy Spirit rested upon his wife,^ as it is 

1 The first editions read here " whilst " and omit " know that." 

2 Lit. " before him." On Gehazi see J.E. v. 580 f. 

^ His want of faith led to his failure to restore the child. Moreover, 
he did not beUeve that he was dead, because he told Elisha " the 
lad is not awaked " (2 Kings iv. 31). 

* Jalkut, loc. cit., reads : " His mouth " ; this agrees with the text in 
2 Kings iv. 34. Perhaps Luria's suggestion that the reading should 
be : " his face . . . and his hands " is correct. John of Damascus, 
op. cit. iv. 34, refers to the virginity of Elisha ; this idea occurs also in 
Ambrose and other Christian writers. See also Clement. " Two Epistles 
concernina,' Virginity," xiv. (A.N.C.L. xiv. p. 393). 

* The Prague edition reads : " Rabbi Zechariah " ; this is also Brode's 
reading, 

* To cause the dead to be quickened. 

' See Siphre, Num. § 78, and J.E. xi. 227. 

^ To feed the hungry is to restore his soul ; cf. Lam. i. 11. 

9 As to whether it also re.sted on him see J.E. , loc. cit., andcf. Jalkut, 
loc. cit., which reads " upon him " ; see T.B. Megillah, 14b, and Kimchi 
on 2 Kings xxii. 14, who quotes the entire passage from our P.R.E. ; 
he does not, however, read " upon him." The reason why the Holy 



244 RABBI ELIEZER 

said,i " So Hilkiah the priest . . . went unto Huldah the 
prophetess, the wife of Shalhim, the son of Tikvah " (ibid. 
xxii. 14). Originally his name was " the son of Sachrah " ; - 
just as thou dost say, " Merchandise is better^ than the cir- 
culation of money " (Prov. iii. 14). One Scripture text || says, 
"The son of Sachrah."^ When her husband died, the 
charitable deeds of her husband ceased,^ and all Israel went 
forth to show loving-kindness to Shallum, son of Tikvah. 
But they spied the band,^ and they cast the man into the 
sepulchre of Elisha,' and he came to life, as it is said, " And 
as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived " 
(2Kingsxiii. 21); and afterwards he begat Chanameel,^ as it 
is said, " Behold, Chanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle 
shall come unto thee " (Jer. xxxii. 7). 

Rabbi Eliezer ^ said : Know thou the power of charity.^" 
Come and see from (the instance of) Saul, the son of Kish, 
who removed the witches and the necromancers from off 
the earth, and once again he loved that which he had hated.^^ 
He went to En Dor, to the wife ^'^ of Zephaniah, the mother 
of Abner, and he inquired of her for himself by the familiar 
spirit, and she brought for him Samuel the prophet, and 

Spirit rested upon Huldah is probably suggested by the special manner 
of her husband's charity in pouring out water for the thirsty ; cf . 
Isa. xliv. 3, and Joel ii. 28. 

1 Insert idkjb'. 

2 See I Chron. xxxiv. 22 : " the son of Hasrah," i.e. " CAasrah " — 
this becomes " SacArah " by interchanging the first two letters of 
the name, just as the Massorites have done with the name " Tikvah " 
in this verse. " Sachrah " means " merchandise." See also 2 Kings 
xxii. 14. 

' In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the Venice 
edition. 

* This quotation is unknown to me ; see, however, previous note (-). 

* The Hebrew word for ceased is " Chasrah." The Jalkut, in loc, 
reads: "The charity of her husband failed that righteous woman " ; 
cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 47a, and T.B. ChuUin, loc. cit. 

^ The first editions add : " that was coming against them." 
' Cf. Ecclus. xlviii. 13. 

* See J .E. vi. p. 203, s.v. Hanameel, son of Shallum and Huldah. 
' The first editions read : " Chananiah ben Teradion." 

'" The text here is probably corrupt. Instead of reading, " the 
power of charity," we should perhaps read, " the power of righteous 
people." Luria thinks that the whole phrase is out of place. The 
narrative fits in better at the end of Chapter XXXI. 

1' See Targum on i Sam. xxviii. 7 ff. ; Lev. Rab. xxvi. 7; Midrash 
Samuel xxiv. 

'^ Kimchi, on i Sam. xxviii. 7, reads : "to a woman who had a familiar 
spirit, Zephaniah." See also Midrash Samuel, loc. cit., and Lev. Rab., 
loc. cit. 



ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 245 

the dead saw Samuel ascending, and they ascended with 
him,i thinking that the resurrection of the dead had come,^ 
and the woman beheld, and she became very much confused, 
as it is said, " And the king said unto her, Be not afraid : 
for what seest thou?" (1 Sam. xxviii. 13).^ Some say: 
Many righteous men like (Samuel) came up with him in 
that hour.* 

Rabbi Eliezer said : All the dead will arise at the 
resurrection of the dead, dressed in their shrouds.^ Know 
thou that this is the case. Come and see from (the 
analogy of) the one who plants (seed) in the earth. He 
plants naked ^ (seeds) || and they arise covered with many 
coverings ; and the people who descend into the earth 
dressed (with their garments), will they not rise up dressed 
(with their garments) ? ^ Not only this, but come and see 
from Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who went down into 
the fiery furnace dressed in their garments,^ as it is said,® 
" And the satraps . . . being gathered together, saw these 
men, that the fire had no power upon their bodies . . . 
neither were their hosen changed " (Dan. iii. 27). Learn ^" 
from Samuel, the prophet, who came up clothed with his 

* See T.B. Chagigah, 4b, and cf. Ascension of Isaiah ix. 17. 

^ Jalkut, ii. § 140, adds that Samuel brought Moses with him. Think- 
ing it was the great Day of the Last Judgment, Moses would testify 
on behalf of Samuel ; see Midrash Samuel, loc. cit. 

^ " For what dost thou see ? " is added by Luria. 

* Perhaps this sentence is a gloss added by some copyist, taken 
from Midrash Samuel or Lev. Rab., loc. cit. 

^ The first editions read : " and they will ascend in their garments. 
From what dost thou learn this ? " Luria reads : " When all the 
dead arise," etc. On the analogy employed by our author, see 
I Cor. XV. 36 ff., where the same thought occurs, and cf. T.B. 
Kethuboth, iiib; T.B. Synhedrin, 96D ; and Jalkut, loc. cit., which 
reads : " clothed in their shrouds." 

* The first editions read : " From the seed in the earth, by an 
inference a minori ad majus with reference to wheat. What happens 
to the (seed of) wheat ? It is buried in a naked condition and it comes 
forth." 

' The first editions read : " how much more so will this apply 
to the righteous who were buried with their garments." See i Cor. 
XV. 42 ff. for a similar discussion. See Gen. Rab. xcvi. 6 ; T.B. 
Sabbath, 114a; Semachoth ix. on the question as to whether the 
garments used at the burial will be the garments of the resurrection. 

* The first editions add : " and they came out in their garments, 
as it is said, ' Nor was the hair of their head singed ' " (Dan. iii. 27). 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 92b ; and Sepher Chassidim, § 11 29. 

^° The first editions read : " And again, from whom canst thou 
learn this." 



246 RABBI EIJEZER 

robe, as it is said, " And she said, An old man cometh up ; 
and he is covered with a robe " (1 Sam. xxviii. 14). 

Rabbi Jochanan ^ said : All the prophets prophesied 
in their lifetime, and Samuel prophesied in his lifetime, 
and after his death, because Samuel said to Saul : If thou 
wilt hearken to my advice to fall by the sword, then 
shall thy death be an atonement for thee,^ and thy 
lot ^ shall be with me in the place where I abide.'' Saul 
barkened to his advice, and fell by the sword, he and all 
his sons,"* as it is said, " So Saul died, and his three 
sons " {ibid. xxxi. 6). Why ? So that his portion might 
be with Samuel the prophet in the future life, as it is 
said, " And to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with 
me " {ibid, xxviii. 19). What is the meaning of " Avith 
me " ? Rabbi Jochanan said : With me in mv division in 
heaven.^ 

Hillel, the Elder, said : Samuel spake to Saul, saying, Was 
it not enough for thee that thou didst not hearken || unto 
His voice, neither didst thou execute His fierce anger upon 
Amalek, ' but thou dost also inquire ^ through one possessed 
of a familiar spirit,^ and thou seekest (to know the future). 
Woe is the shepherd, and woe is his flock ! For on thy 
account has the Holy One, blessed be He, given Israel thy 
people into the hands of the Philistines, as it is said, " More- 
over, the Lord will deliver Israel also with thee into the hand 
of the Philistines " {ibid.). 

* The first editions read : " Nathan." 

* Death as an atonement is discussed by Schechter, Aspects, 
pp. 304, 307 f. See also T.B. Synhedrin, 44b, on this theme. 

^ See Dan. xii. 13 for a parallel expression. 

* See Midrash Samuel, loc. cit. ; and compare the words which are 
said to have been spoken by the Founder of Christianity to the penitent 
thief, Luke xxiii. 43. 

* The text quoted in support of this continues : " and his 
armour-bearer, and all his men." In i Chron. x. 6 the reading is : 
" So Saul died, and his three sons ; and all his house died 
together." The Targum to this passage renders " his house " by 
" the men of his house." The first editions read : " he and all his 
house." 

* See Lev. Rab., loc. cit., and T.B. Berakhoth, 12b, which is 
probably the source of the Midrash, and cf. Midra'-li Samud x. 

' See infra, ]>. 3S8. 

* Lit. " to inquire through one possessed of a familiar spirit and 
to seek." The first editions read : " Thou art come to inquire for 
thyself through one possessed of a familiar spirit." 

* See Gesenius (Oxford edition), s.v. 3iw. 



ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 247 

Rabbi Tachanah ^ said : Israel was exiled ^ to Babylon, 
and did not forsake their evil deeds. Ahab, son of Kolaiah, 
and Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah,^ became lying healers,'* 
and they healed the wives of the Chaldeans, and came unto 
them for coition.^ The king heard thereof, and commanded 
that they should be burnt. They both said : Let us say 
that Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, was with us, and he will 
save ^ us from the burning with fire. They said to him : O 
our lord, O king, this man was with us in every matter. 
The king commanded that the three should be burnt by fire. 
And the angel Michael ^ descended and saved Joshua from 
the fiery flames, and brought him up before the throne of 
glory, as it is said, " And he shewed me Joshua,^ the 
high priest" (Zech. iii. 1); and the other two were burnt 
by fire, as it is said, " And of them shall be taken up 
a curse. . . . The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like 
Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire " 
(Jer. xxix. 22). It is not written here " whom the king 
of Babylon burnt with fire," but " whom he roasted," ^ 
hence we learn || that his ^° hairs were singed on account 
of their sins, as it is said, " In the pride of the wicked 
the poor is hotly pursued " (Ps. x. 2). Whence do we 
know that he was delivered ? Because it is said, " And 
the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O 
Satan. ... Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ? " 
(Zech. iii. 2). 

Rabbi Jehudah said : When Nebuchadnezzar brought a 

1 The first editions read " Jochanan." This is also the reading in 
the Jalkut Makhiri on Zech. iii. i, p. 35 (ed. Greenup). 

^ The first editions read " went up." This story is one of the 
versions of the Susanna narrative ; see BriiU's Jahrhucher, iii. pp. 8 fi'., 
where Origen is quoted, who knew the story and refers to Zedekiah 
and Ahab. 

^ See Jer. xxix. 21, 23. 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 93a ; Tanchuma, Vajikra, § vi. The incident 
may be based on Job xiii. 4. Cf. Ezek. xiii. 6, and xxii. 28. 

^ See also Jalkut ii. § 309 ; Pesikta de R. Kahana xxv. pp. 164b. 

* See T.B. Chulhn, 7a. The first editions read : " Let Joshua, 
the son of Jehozadak, a righteous man, come with us and we shall 
be saved through his merit." 

' Cf. Zohar, Gen. 104a. 

* The MS. reads " Jehozadak " ; the verse is correctly quoted in 
the first editions. 

* Jalkut Makhiri, Zech., loc. cii., adds : " like these ears of corn he 
roasted them." Is this part of the original text ? 

1" i.e. Joshua's. 



248 RABBI ELIEZER 

false accusation ^ against Israel to slay them, he set up an 
idol in the plain of Dura, and caused a herald to proclaim : 
Any one who docs not bow down to this idol shall be burnt 
by fire. Israel did not trust in the shadow - of their Creator, 
and came with their wives and sons and bowed down to 
the idolatrous image ^ — except Daniel, whom they called by 
the name of their God,* and it would have been a disgrace 
to them to burn him ^ in fire, as it is said, " But at the last 
Daniel came in before me " ^ (Dan. iv. 8). And they took 
Chananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and put them into the 
fiery furnace, and the angel Gabriel ^ descended and saved 
them from the fiery furnace.^ The king said to them : ^ 
Ye knew that ye had a God who saves and delivers ; why 
have ye forsaken your God and worshipped idols which 
have no power to deliver ? But just as ye did in your own 
land and destroyed it, so do ye attempt to do in this land, 
(namely) to destroy it. The king commanded, || and they 
slew all of them. Whence do we know that they were all 
slain by the sword ? Because it is said, " Then said he 
unto me. Prophesy . . . O breath, and breathe upon these 
slain, that they may live " (Ezek. xxxvii. 9).^" 

Rabbi Phineas said : After twenty years, when all of 
them had been slain in Babylon,^^ the Holy Spirit rested upon 

* Lit. " wantonness of words " ; baseless charges. Cf. Deut. xxii. 14. 

17- 

^ See supra, p. 62, for this expression. 

^ See T.B. Megillah, 12a ; Cant. Rab. vii. 6. The image is discussed 
in T.B. Berakhoth, 58b. 

* See Luria's reading. Daniel was called Belteshazzar. " Bel " 
is, of course, a name of a Babylonian image or god. 

^ i.e. Daniel. 

* The verse continues : " whose name was Belteshazzar, according 
to the name of my God." 

' In Jalkut, on Ezek. xxxvii. § 375, the reading is Michael ; see Gen. 
Rab. xhv. 13. Our reading agrees with T.B. Pesachim, ii8a ; Pesikta 
Rabbathi, p. i6ob ; Ex. Rab. xviii. 5 ; and see Jalkut on Dan., in loc, 
and T.B. Synhedrin, 95b. It is noteworthy that Daniel is not men- 
tioned here ; he was therefore not cast into the fiirnace. 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 55, note 1. 

* The Hebrews who had worshipped his image. 

" See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. v. p. 24, and J.E. ix. 202 f. 

" See T.B. Synhedrin, 92b, and Tanchuma, Noah, § x. : "On the day 
when the three companions were delivered Ezekiel quickened the dead 
in the valley of Dura." See Pal. Targum, Ex. xiii. 17, on the sons of 
Ephraim, who were slain for attempting to leave Egypt before the 
appointed time. See also Shibbole Ha-Leket, 219. According to one 
authority in T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cit., " the whole incident was indeed a 
parable." 



ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 249 

Ezekiel, and brought him forth into the plain of Dura, and 
called unto him very dry bones, and said to him : Son of 
Man ! What dost thou see ? He answered : I see here 
dry bones. (The Spirit) said to him : Have I power to 
revive them ? The prophet did not say : i Sovereign of 
all the worlds ! Thou hast power to do even more than 
(this) here ; but he said : " O Lord God, thou knowest " 
{ibid. 3), as though he did not believe ; ^ therefore his own 
bones were not buried in a pure land,^ but in an unclean 
land, as it is said, "And thou shalt die in a land that is 
unclean " (Amos vii. 17).'' " Prophesy over these bones " 
(Ezek. xxxvii. 4). He said before Him : Sovereign of all the 
worlds ! What ! will the prophecy bring upon them flesh 
and sinews and bones ? ^ Or will the prophecy bring upon 
them all the flesh and bones which cattle, beast, and bird 
have eaten, and they (also) have died in the land ? ^ Im- 
mediately the Holy One, blessed be He, caused His voice 
to be heard, and the earth shook, as it is said, " And as I 
prophesied there was a thundering, and behold an earth- 
quake " {ibid. 7), II and every animal, beast, and bird which 
had eaten thereof and died in another land ^ the earth 
brought together, " bone to his bone " {ibid.y 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : There came down 
upon them the quickening dew ^ from heaven, which was 

* The first editions omit the negative. The later editions {e.g. 
Amsterdam and Prague) read : " he should have said." 

2 See Gen. Rab. xix. ii ; Zohar, Num. 200a ; Jalkut, Kings, § 244. 

* i.e. the land of Israel. 

■•This quotation from Amos is very strange, inasmuch as it is 
applied to Ezekiel as a prophecy concerning his burial. Moreover, 
the prophet refers to death, which might be quite distinct from the 
burial of the prophet. See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab., loc. cit., and cf. 
/.£■. V. 315 f., for further parallels to this story. 

^ Read here " skin," as in the text of Ezek. xxxvii. 8. 

* The first editions read : " in another land." This is probably 
the correct reading, as it occurs again in this section, and, therefore, 
what was missing would have to be miraculously restored by God. 
The prophet had his doubts as to whether this would or could be 
accomplished. Interesting parallels to this discussion are to be found 
in the writings of the Church Fathers ; see Athenagoras, " Resurrection 
of the Dead," ch. iv., and Tertullian, mentioned infra, p. 251, note. 

^ The words from " every animal " till " another land " occur only 
in our MS. 

8 See Jalkut, Ezek. § 375: "He caused His voice to be heard 
from between the two Cherubim " ; see supra, p. 228, and cf. Ps. 
xcix. I. 

* See infra, p. 260. 



250 RABBI ELIEZER 

like a fountain/ which was bubbling and bringing forth 
water; so likewise (the bones) were moving and bringing 
forth upon themselves flesh, (other) bones ^ and sinews, as 
it is said, " And I beheld, and lo, there were sinews upon 
them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above " 
{ibid. 8). He said to him : Prophesy imto the wind, as it 
is said, " Then said he unto me. Prophesy unto ^ the wind. 
. . . Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe 
upon these slain, that they may live " {ibid. 9). In that 
hour the four winds of the heaven went forth, and opened 
the treasure-house of the souls, and each spirit returned to 
the body of flesh of man, as it is said, " So I prophesied 
as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and 
they lived, ... an exceeding great army" {ibid. 10); and it 
is written about Egypt, " And the children of Israel were 
fruitful, . . . and waxed exceeding mighty " (Ex. i. 7). 
What is the meaning of " exceeding " ? Just as in the latter 
case there were 600,000 (men), so in the former case there 
were 600,000 (men), and they all stood upon their feet except 
one man. The prophet said : Sovereign of all the worlds ! 
What is the nature of this man ? He answered him : He 
gave out money for usury,* and he took with interest. || As 
I live, he shall not live. In that hour the Israelites were 
sitting and weeping, and saying : We hoped for light, and 
darkness came. We hoped to stand up with all Israel at 
the resurrection of the dead, and now " our hope is lost " 
(Ezek. xxxvii. 11). We hoped to arise so as to be gathered 
with all Israel, and now " we are clean cut off " {ibid.). In 
that hour the Holy One, blessed be He, said to the prophet : 
Therefore, say to them. As I live, I will cause you to stand 
at the resurrection of the dead in the future that is to 
come, and I will gather you with all Israel ^ to the land, as 

* This is also the reading in Jalkut. Ezekiel, loc. cit. 

-Instead of "bones" we should probably read "skin"; see 
supra, p. 240, note 5. 

3 The MS. reads incorrectly " against." 

* See Jalkut on Ezekiel, loc. cit., which reads : " And he took usury 
and he shall not Uve (eternally)." This is based on Ezek. xviii. S. 
See Ex. Rab. xxxi. 3, and see Tosaphoth T.B. Baba Mezi'a, yob, catch- 
word, "Thou mayest lend"; cf. Pal. Targum. i;x. xiii. 17. See also 
Tosaphoth Sotali, 5a. 

* The Venice edition reads here : " for the ingathering of the 
exiles to the land of Israel." On the vision in Ezek. xxxvii. see Cant. 
Rab. vii. 9. Maimonides, Moreh Nebukhim, ii. 4G, regarded the 



ELTSHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE 251 

it is said, " Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you 
to come up out of your graves . . . and I will bring you 
into the land of Israel. . . . And I will put my spirit in 
you, and ye shall live" {ibid. 12, 14). 

"resurrection" as a prophetic vision; see T.B. Synhedrin, /or. cit., 
for the Talmudic account. The doubt of Ezekiel is noted by Tertulhan, 
On the Resurrection of the Flesh, xxx. In this passage the Church 
Father interprets the vision in a Uteral sense, rejecting the allegorical 
meaning which was given to the vision in his day. Justin Martyr 
[First Apology, Hi.) refers to this prophecy as pointing to the 
resurrection to be brought about by the Christian Messiah at his 
second coming ; his words are : " By Ezekiel the prophet it was said : 
' Joint shall be joined to joint, and bone to bone, and flesh shall 
grow again ; and every knee shall bow to the Lord, and every tongue 
shall confess Him ' " (Ezek. xxxvii. 7, 8, and Isa. xlv. 23). This may 
serve as a fair illustration of the method of quoting the Hebrew 
Scriptures by the Church Fathers. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD [43b. ii.] 

" See now that I, even I, am he,^ and there is no God 
with me " (Deut. xxxii. 39). Only the Holy One, blessed 
be He, said : " / am " in this world, and " / am " in the 
world to come ; / am, the one who redeemed Israel from 
Egypt, and I am the one who, in the future, will redeem 
them at the end of the fourth kingdom ; therefore it is said, 
" I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me " {ibid.). 
Every nation who say that there is a second God, I will 
slay them as with a second death ^ || which has no resurrection ; 
and every nation who say that there is no second God, I 
^vill quicken them for the eternal life. And in the future I 
will slay those (first mentioned) and quicken these, therefore 
it is said, " I kill, and I make alive " (ibid.). I have 
wounded ^ Jerusalem and her people on the day of My anger, 
and in great mercy * I will heal them,'' therefore it is said, 
" I have wounded, and I will heal " {ibid.). Neither any angel 
nor any seraph ^ will deliver the wicked from the judgment 
of Gehinnom, as it is said, " And there is none that can 
deliver out of my hand " {ibid.). 

Rabbi Jochanan ^ said : All the dead will arise at the 

1 In the MS. the quotation ends here, in the first editions the verse 
is continued and the first editions add : " What purpose has the text in 
saying twice ' I, even I ' ? " See Pal. Targum, h: loc, and Othijoth de R. 
"Akiba (B.H.M. iii. p. i"), letter n : " I was before the world, and I am 
after the world." See also T.B. Berakhoth, 9b, Jalkut, Diut. § 041',. and 
cf. Methodius, " On the Resurrection," v. (A.N.C.L. xiv. p. 141). 

2 This is based on Dan. xiii. 2. Cf. Rev. xx. (>, 14, xxi. 8, and see 
Midrash Tannaim, ed. Hoffmann, p. 202, and Siphre, Deut. § 329. 

3 God destroyed Jerusalem, and He will rebuild it; cf. Lam. i. 17. 
* Cf. Isa. liv. 7, II f., and Jer. xxxiii. 6. q. 

^ See Isa. xxx. 26, and cf. Shochcr Tob, Ps. cxlvii. (end). 
« " ' I, even I,' says God, ' I will deliver them, I alone." " 
^ The first editions read " Jonathan." 

3$3 



RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD 253 

resurrection of the dead, except the generation of the Flood,^ 
as it is said, " The dead shall not live, the deceased (Re- 
phaim) - shall not rise " (Isa. xxvi. 14). " The dead (who) 
shall not live " refer to the heathens, who are like the carcase of 
cattle ; ^ they shall arise for the day of judgment,^ yet they 
shall not live ; but the men of the generation of the Flood, 
even for the day of judgment they shall not arise, as it is 
said, " The Rephaim shall not rise " (ibid.). All their souls 
become winds,^ accursed, injuring ^ the sons of men, and 
in the future world the Holy One, blessed be He, will destroy 
them out of the world, so that they should not do harm to a 
single Israelite, as it is said, " Therefore hast thou visited 
and destroyed them,^ and made all their memory to perish " 
(ibid.).^ 

Rabbi Zechariah said : The sleep at night is like this 
world, and the awakening of the morning ^ is like the 
world to come. And just as |1 in the sleep of the night a 
man lies down and sleeps, and his spirit wanders over all 
the earth, and tells him in a dream i" whatever happens, as it 
is said, " In a dream, in a vision of the night . . . then he 
openeth the ears of men " (Job xxxiii. 15, 16), Hkewise (with) 
the dead, their spirit wanders over all the earth, and tells 
them all things ^^ that happen in the world, but they are silent 
and (yet) they give song and praise to God, who will quicken 
them in the future, as it is said, " Let the saints exult 
in glory " ^'^ (Ps. cxiix. 5). The awakening in the morning 

1 Cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 107b, and Aboth de Rabbi Nathan (a) xxxvi. 
pp. 53b a. 

2 The Rephaim (giants) are the men of the generation of the Flood. 
See supra, pp. 160 f., 167, and Gen. Rab. xxxi. 12. 

^ i.e. doomed to destruction. Cf. the directions laid down for the 
conduct of Christians towards heathens, in Clement, "Two Epistles con- 
cerning Virginity," vi. (A.N.C.L. xiv. pp. 387f.). See supra, -p. 208, n. 7, 

* In the Messianic age, or, rather, at the close of the reign of Messiah. 
^ Or, " spirits who injure." 

* Or, " Demons unto man "; see Jalkut, Isa. in loc. 

' The quotation ends here in the MS., it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* See Zohar, Gen. 25b. 

» This is based on Isa. xxvi. 19. Cf. Hippolytus (ed. Achelis), 
p. 107. 

1" See Eccles. x. 20, and see Midrash Rab. thereon ; cf. T.B. Berak- 
hoth, 1 8b, Gen. Rab. xiv. 9, and supra, p. 87. 

'^ This is also the reading of the Venice edition. 

12 Even in the grave the saints continue to glorify God. See Ps. 
cxlix. 5 ; Jalkut, i Kings, § 169 ; and Shocher Tob on Ps. xxx. p. 117b. 



254 RABBI ELIEZER 

is like the future world. A parable ^ — unto what is the 
matter to be likened ? To a man who awakens out of his 
sleep, in like manner will the dead awaken in the future 
world, as it is said, " O satisfy us in the morning with thy 
loving-kindness " - {ibid. xc. 14). 

The voices of five (objects of creation) ^ go from one 
end of the world to the other, and their voices are inaudible.* 
When people cut down the wood of the tree ^ which yields 
fruit, its cry goes from one end of the world to the other, 
and the voice is inaudible. When the serpent sloughs off 
its skin,*^ its cry goes from one end of the world to the other 
and its voice is not heard." When a woman is divorced 
from her husband,** her voice goeth forth from one end of 
the world to the other, but the voice is inaudible.^ When 
the infant || comes forth from its mother's^" womb.^^ When 
the soul departs from the body,^- the cry goes forth from one 
end of the world to the other, and the voice is not heard. 
The soul does not go out of the body until it beholds the 
Shekhinah, as it is said, " For man shall not sec me and 
live " (Ex. xxxiii. 20).i3 

^ The parable is only found in our MS. Cf. i Cor. xv. 20, 51 ; 
I Thess. iv. 14 ; and Eph. v. 14. 

^ The verse continues : " and let us sing and rejoice all our day.-'." 
See Jalkut Makhiri on Ps. xc. p. 44a; T.B. Berakhoth, i8b. "The 
wicked sleep the eternal sleep, never to awaken in the future." Cf. Jer. 
li. 30 and Targum, in loc. 

^ Brodc and Luria read " six." In fact there are " six " cases 
enumerated according to the t&yit of the first printed editions. The 
MS. has five instances only. 

* See T.B. Joma, 20b, where four examples only are given. Jalkut, 
I'salms, § 743, has used our author. See Gen. Rab. vi. 7. The first edi- 
tions add : " and they are." 

* This maj' be based on Deut. xx. 19. See also Jer. xlvi. 22 and 
Targum thereon. 

® See supra, p. 99, Gen. Rab. xx. 5. Cf. The Baraitha of the 32 
Middoth, No. 14, ed. Reifmaun, pp. 33!. 

^ The first editions omit : " The voice goeth forth from one end of 
the world to the other." It occurs in the Amsterdam edition. Cf. J':^r. 
xlvi. 22. 

® See Mai. ii. 14-16. 

* The first editions add : " When a wife is with her husband at the 
first coition, her voice goeth forth from one end of the world to the 
other, but the voice is inaudible." 

1" Sec Isa. xxvi. 17, and xlii. 14 ; T.B. Joma, loc. cit., and Lev. 
Rab. xxvii. 7. 

" The first editions add : " the cry goeth forth from one end of the 
world to the other, and the voice is not heard." 

'- See T.B. Joma, loc. cit. 

'' See Siphre, Num. § 103 ; Siphra (beg.), and infra, p. 430. 



RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD 255 

Rabbi Ze'era^ said: All the souls go forth and are 
gathered, each man's soul to the generation of his fathers 
and to his people.^ The righteous with the righteous,^ and 
the wicked with the wicked, for thus spake the Holy One, 
blessed be He, to Abraham : " But thou shalt go to thy 
fathers in peace " (Gen. xv. 15).* And when the soul goes 
forth from the body,^ then the righteous come to meet 
them,^ and say to them : Come unto peace ! One verse 
says, " Therefore, behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, 
and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace " (2 Kings 
xxii. 20).^ 

Rab Huna * said : All Israel ^ who die outside the 
land (of Israel), their souls ^" are gathered into the land 
(of Israel), as it is said, " Yet the soul of my lord shall 
be bound in the bundle of the living " ^^ (1 Sam. xxv. 29). 
All the heathens who die ^- in the land of Israel have their 
souls cast outside the land (of IsraeP^), as it is said, " And 
the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as from 
the hollow of a sling " (ibid.), (even) beyond the land (of 
Israel). 

In the future world the Holy One, blessed be He, will 

1 The first editions read '"Azariah." 

2 Death reunites, whereas in hfe separation and dispersion are 
frequent experiences. See Ps. xUx. ig. 

^ See Jalkut, Gen. § 77, and Eccles. Rab. to Eccles. iii. 9. 

* The first editions read here : " When the soul goes forth from the 
body, is this peace ? But the angels come to meet (it) and say to it : 
Peace, as it is said : ' He entereth into peace ; they rest in their beds ' 
(Isa. Ivii. 2). Another verse says: 'Thou shalt be gathered to thy 
grave in peace ' " (2 Kings xxii. 20). 

* Luria suggests that the text should read : " What is the peace ? " 
(Is there any peace for the body when the soul leaves it ?) See also 
T.B. Sabbath, 152b. See the Book of the Bee Ivi. pp. 131 ff. for a 
parallel to our text. 

* i.e. the souls. See Rokeach, 313, which has used P.R.E. ; the read- 
ing here is: " The righteous come before the souls." See also T.B. 
Kethuboth, 104a, and Num. Rab. xi. 7. 

'' Cf. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 28. Our MS. has omitted part of the verse, 
the first editions read the latter part only. 

* The first editions read " Rabbi Chanina." 

* The later editions read : " All the righteous." 
1" Immediately after death. 

11 The land of the living is the Holy Land ; when David was an exile 
from the Holy Land he cries that he cannot worship God. See i Sam. 
xxvi. 19. 

1^ Some of the later editions read : " All the dead (bodies) of the 
wicked." The Amsterdam and Prague editions read : " All the dead 
(bodies) of the idolaters." 

'3 This is the reading of the Amsterdam and Prague editions. 



256 RABBI ELIEZER 

take hold of the corners of the land of Israel, and shake it 
(free) from all unclean (things),^ as it is said, " That it might 
take hold of the ends of the earth,- and the wicked be shaken 
out of it " (Job xxxviii. 13). 

A man has three friends |i in his lifetime, and they are : his 
sons and his household,^ his money, and his good deeds. 
At the hour of a man's departure from the world he gathers 
his sons and his household, and he says to them : I beg of you 
to come and save me from the judgment of this evil death.* 
They answer him, saying to him : Hast thou not heard 
that there is no one who can prevail over the day of death ? 
and is it not written thus, " None of them can by any means 
redeem his brother " (Ps. xhx. 7) ? ^ " For the redemption of 
their soul is costly " ^ {ibid. 8). And he has his money fetched, 
and says to it : ' I beseech thee, save me from the judgment of 
this evil death. It answers him, saying : Hast thou not 

1 The first editions add : " like a man shakes a garment and casts 
out all that is therein and throws this away." 

2 In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

3 Cf. Aboth vi. 9, Jalkut, Isa. § 494 ; Jalkut, Ps. § 834, reads 
" household." Bachja in Kad Ha-Kemach. s.v. Sax, pp. i2a-b, 
quotes P.R.E. and reads : " his wife and his sons." The latter 
reading is to be found in the first editions. Cf . also Menorath Ha-.Maor, 
278. See Israel Levi's article on this passage in R.E.J, xviii. 
pp. 83 ff., where he discusses the influence of " Barlaam and Josaphat " 
in this parable. " Barlaam and Josaphat " was written in the seventh 
century probably, and was known to the author of P.R.E. in its Greek 
or Arabic or Syrian version. See also Geiger, Was hat Mohammed, etc., 
p. 93, and J.E. ii. pp. ^^(yi. 

* This is an explanation of Ps. xlix. 5, "Why should I fear in the 
days of evil ? " (i.e. death). 

* " The first editions read here : " Even his money which he loves 
cannot redeem him, as it is said : ' Nor give to God a ransom for him ' 
(Ps. xlix. 7). Why?" 

« Siphre, Deut. § 329, says : "If they give to Him all the money in the 
world they would not be able to give Him his ransom." The first 
editions add here the following : " And this thing must be let alone ' for 
ever' (P.-. xlix. 8). but go towards peace and rest on thy couch, and 
stand for thy lot at the end of days, and may thy lot be with the pious 
of the world.' When he sees (things) in this way." - 

' The first editions add : " For thee have I toiled very much by 
night and by day." See Eccles. v. 10-15 on the folly of heaping up 
wealth. 



1 Note here the universalism of this wish. The pious of the 
world, not merely the pious of Israel, are the denizens of Paradise. 
On the " pious of the world," see Toscphta Synhedrin xiii. p. 43 t- The 
latter pnrt of the paragraph is based on Dan. xii. 13. 

* How his family are powerless to help him. 



RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD 257 

heard, " Riches profit not in the day of wrath " ^ (Prov. 
xi. 4) ? He (then) has his good deeds fetched, and he 
says to them : I beseech you, come and deHver me from 
the judgment of this evil death, ^ And they answer him 
and say to him : ^ Before thou goest, verily, we will go 
in advance of thee, as it is said, " And charity delivereth 
from death " (ibid.). Does then charity deliver from 
death? (This refers) to an evil death only. Another 
Scripture says, " And thy righteousness shall go before 
thee,^ the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward " (Isa. 
Iviii. 8).5 

All the seven days of mourning the soul goeth forth 
and returneth from its (former) home to its sepulchral 
abode, and from its sepulchral abode to its (former) home.^ 
After the seven days of mourning the body !| begins to breed 
worms,' and it decays and returns to the dust,^ as it originally 
was, as it is said, " And the dust returns to the earth as it 
was " ^ (Eccles. xii. 7). The soul goes forth and returns to 
the place whence it was given, from heaven, as it is said, "And 
the soul 1° returns unto God who gave it " (ibid.). And whence 
do we learn that the soul has been given from heaven ? ^^ 
Come and see. When the Holy One, blessed be He, formed 

' i.e. the day of death. The text might be rendered " the day of 
passing away " (from this life). Cf. Eccles. viii. 8. 

* The first editions add here : " and strengthen yourselves with me/ 
and do not leave me to depart from the world, for ye still have hope 
for me that I may be saved." * 

* The first editions add : " Go towards peace." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS., it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ In Jalkut, Isa. loc. cit., the verse: "And righteousness delivereth 
from death" (Prov. x. 2) is quoted. This is also to be found in the 
Kad Ha-Kemach, loc. cit. 

® This sentence is omitted in the printed editions. See 4 Ezra vii. 3 1 . 

'' See Rokeach, 313, based upon our author; cf. T.B. Sabbath, 152a, 
and T.J. Mo'ed Katan iii. 5. 82b. 

8 See T.B. Niddali, 69b, and T.B. Sabbath, 152b. The return to 
dust is considerably later than the first seven days after death. 

^ The next sentence is not found in the printed editions. 
10 The MS. text does not agree with the M.T. " Nephesh," which 
we have rendered soul, should be " ruach," spirit. 
" i.e. by God. 

1 Because all my relatives and friends have forsaken me. For the 
phraseology, cf. Dan. x. 19. 

2 The next verse (9) in Ps. xlix. says : " and let him live for ever." 
This is the petition of one's good deeds, the only true and lasting friend 
of man. 

17 



258 RABBI ELIEZER 

man, he did not have in him the spirit.^ What did the Holy 
One, blessed be He, do ? He breathed with the spirit of 
the breath of His mouth, and cast a soul - into him, as it 
is said, " And he brcatlicd into his nostrils the breath of 
life " (Gen. ii. ly 

Rabbi Ishmael * said : All the bodies crumble ^ into 
the dust of the earth, until nothing remains of the body 
except a spoonful of earthy matter.^ In the futvire life, 
when the Holy One, blessed be He, calls" to the earth to 
return all the bodies deposited with it.'* that which had become 
mixed with the dust of the earth, like the yeast which is 
mixed with the dough, improves and increases, and it raises 
up all the body.^ When the Holy One, blessed be He, calls 
to the earth to return all the bodies deposited with it, that 
which has become mixed with the dust of the earth, im- 
proves and increases and raises up all the body without 
water.i" Forthwith the earth quakes and the mountains 
tremble,^^ and the graves are opened,^- and the stones of the 
graves are scattered about one from the other, as it is said, 
" And the Lord God shall save them || in that day as the 
flock of his people : ^^ for they shall be as the stones of a 
crown, Hfted on high over his land " (Zech. ix. 16). 

Rabbi Azariah said : All the souls are in the hands of 

1 The first editions read : " the spirit of the soul." See supra. 
p. 78, n. 2. Cf. Tertullian, On the Resurrection, v. 

2 Or, " breath." 

3 The breath of life came from God and returns to Him. 

* The first editions read " Simeon." 
" Read pyi:3, and cf. supra, p. yj. 

* Or, " rottenness." See T.J. Nazir vii. 2, 56b, and Lev. Rab. xviii. i. 
The Venice edition adds here : " And it becomes mixed with the dust 
of the earth like yeast, which is mixed with the dough." 

' The Voice of God will usher in the resurrection, see supra, 
p. 249 ; see also Othijoth de R. 'Akiba; B.H.M. iii. p. 60. Cf. 4 Ezra 
vii. 32 ; .-Kpoc. Baruch xi. 4 ; i Thess. iv. 13, i ; ; and 2 Pet. iii. 4. 

* Cf . infra, p. 335. The earth holds the bodies until the resur- 
rection. The day of death is called the " day of Account " (Isa. x. 3) ; 
cf. Num. xvi. 29, " the visiting of every man." 

* The first edition adds: "without water." This became in the 
Venice edition : " \vithout a blemish." See T.B. Synhedrin, 91a, and 
Gen. Rab. xcv. i. 

i<* This sentence is not in the printed texts. It is practically a 
repetition of the previous sentence. The first editions read instead : 
" like the leaven which improves and increases the dough." 

" See T.B. Sotah, 36b. See .\rabic version of 4 Fzra vii. 32 (ed. 
Box, p. 119). 

12 See Ezek. xxxvii. 13. 

13 In the MS. the quotation ends here. 



RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD 259 

the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said, " In whose hand 
is the soul of every living thing " ^ (Job xii. 10). A parable 
— to what is the matter like ? To a person who was going 
in the market with the key of his house in his hand. As long 
as the key is in his hand, all his money is in his hand. Like- 
wise the Holy One, blessed be He, has the key of the graves,^ 
and the key of the treasure-houses of the souls ; ^ and He 
will restore every spirit to the body of flesh of man, as it is 
said, " Thou sendest forth thy spirit,* they are created ; ^ 
and thou renewest the face of the ground " ^ (Ps. civ. 30). 

The soul is like its Creator.^ Just as the Holy One, 
blessed be He, sees and is not visible, so the soul sees and is 
not visible.^ Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, has no 
sleep in His presence,^ so the soul does not sleep.i" Just as 
the Holy One, blessed be He, bears His world,ii so the soul 
bears all the body.i- All souls are His, as it is said, " Behold, 
all souls are mine " (Ezek. xviii. 4). 

Rabbi Jehudah said : From the day when the Temple was 
destroyed, the land (of Israel) is broken down on account of 
the wickedness of those who dwell therein ; like a man who is 
sick and has no power to stand, so is the land broken down and 
is without power to yield her fruits, as it is said, " The earth 
also is polluted under the inhabitants thereof" (Isa. xxiv. 5).^^ 

In the future life the Holy One, blessed be He, will cause 

^ After death. The parable illustrates this idea. This does not 
agree with the interpretation given in Siphre, Num. § 139, quoted in 
Jalkut on Job, in loc. 

2 SeeT.B.Taanith2b, "Fori am the Lord, when I open your graves." 

* The first editions add here: "In the future life the Holy One, 
blessed be He, will open the graves, and He will open the treasure- 
houses of the souls." See 4 Ezra iv. 35, vii. 32 ; T.B. Chagigah, 12b ; 
and Siphre Dent, § 344. 

* Thereby reviving the spirit of man. Cf. Athenagoras, Resurrection 
of the Dead, xxv. 

* In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

* The earth will be renewed after the resurrection. 

' Luria adds : if one may so without irreverence." On this ex- 
pression, see Bacher, Terminologie, i. pp. 72 f. 

® See T.B. Berakhoth, loa, and Deut. Rab. ii. 37, where six 
points of similarity are enumerated ; cf. Lw. Rab. iv. 8. On God's 
seeing, cf. Jer. xxiii. 24 ; on God's invisibility, see Ex. xxxiii. 20 and 
Isa. xlv. 15. See similar theories in TertuUiau, de Anima, xlv. ; and 
Methodius, Banquet, vi. i. 

* See Ps. cxxi. 4 ; and Gen. Rab. xiv. 9. 

^0 See supra, p. 86. 

^1 See Isa. xlvi. 4. 

12 Cf. Luria's reading. 

1^ See the earlier part of the verse. 



260 RABBI ELIEZER 

the reviving dew to descend, and He will quicken the dead 
and renew all things, as it is said, " Thy dead shall live " 
{ihid. xxvi. 19). They are the Israelites, who died trusting 
in His name. || ''My dead bodies shall arise" {ihid.). They 
are the heathens, who are like the carcase of the beast : ^ they 
shall arise for the day of judgment, but they shall not live. 
" Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust " {ihid.). They 
are the righteous, for they dwell - in the dust. " For thy dew 
is as the dew of light " {ibid.). The dew of the righteous 
is not the dew of darkness,^ but (it is) the dew of light, as it 
is said, " For thy dew is as the dew of hght " {ihid.) ; and it 
gives healing to the earth, as it is said, " And the earth shall 
cast forth the dead " * {ihid.). And what is the meaning of 
" And the earth shall cast forth the dead " ? ^ 

Rabbi Tanchum said ^ : On account of the seed of the 
earth, when it is commanded, (it) discharges the dew for 
the resurrection of the dead.'' From what place does it 
descend ? From the head of the Holy One, blessed be 
He ; for the head of the Holy One, blessed be He, is full of 
the reviving dew. In the future life the Holy One, blessed 
be He, will shake His head ^ and ^ cause the quickening dew 
to descend,^" as it is said, " I was asleep,!^ but my heart 
waked ^- . . . for my head is filled with dew, my locks with 
the drops of the night " (Cant. v. 2). 

*A similar statement occurs in Tertiillian, On the Resurrection, 
A.N.C.L. XV. p. 311. 

^ The righteous dead are called " living." See T.B. Sotah, 5a. and 
T.B. Berakhoth, i8a. Cf. 4 Ezra vii. 3^, 36, 61 to illustrate the pre- 
ceding part of the paragraph. 

3 The dew of nature descends at night (see Job xxix. 19), and is 
called " the dew of darkness." There is also " the dew of light," 
which is the heavenly or spiritual dew. 

* Rephaim ; the root of this word means " to heal." See Cant. Rab. 
on Cant. v. 2. 

6 The first editions read : " What is the meaning of ' it giveth healing 
to the earth ' ? " 

* This is probably a gloss, copied from T.J. Berakhoth v. 2. 9b. 
It is only this sentence which belongs to Rabbi Tanchum. Perhaps 
the saying is merely that the earth will disgorge the dead entrusted 
to its keeping. 

' See Luria's reading, and Jalkut, i Kings, § 207. 

* See Zohar, Gen. 130a, and Singer, p. 79, for the "dew of light," 
based on Isa. xxvi. 19. 

» See Luria's reading. 

10 The first editions add : " and He will revive the dead." 
" The righteous sleeps in death, but his heart is ever awake ; his 
soul is fed by the Divine dew which will effect the resurrection. 
^^ The quotation ends here in our MS. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

THE VISION OF JACOB AT BETHEL [45b i.] 

" Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof " 
(Eccles. vii. 8). The first blessings wherewith Isaac blessed 
Jacob were concerning the dews of heaven, and concerning 
the corn of the earth,i as it is said, " And God give thee of 
the dew of heaven,^ and of the fatness of the earth " (Gen. 
xxvii. 28). The final blessings were the blessings of the 
foundation of the world, and in them there is no (interriiption),^ 
either in this world or in the world to come, as it is said, 
" And God Almighty bless thee " (ibid, xxviii. 3). And he 
further added unto him the blessing of Abraham, || as it is 
said, " And may he give thee the blessing of Abraham,* to 
thee and to thy seed with thee " ^ {ibid. 4). Therefore (say) ^ : 
" Better is the end of a thing ' than the beginning thereof " 
(Eccles. vii. 8). " Better is the patient in spirit than the proud 
in spirit" (ibid.).^ "Better is the patient in spirit" — this 
(saying) is applicable » to our father Jacob, for every day 
he was patient in spirit, and he spake all kinds of words of 

1 i.e. material blessings of this earthly life. 

2 In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

^ There is a lacuna in the MS. ; the space is just sufficient for the 
word which occurs in the Oxford MS. or in the first editions, and which 
means " interruption." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* The verse continues : " that thou mayest inherit the land of 
thy sojoumings." 

* This occurs in the first editions, and is missing in the MS. 

'' The reference is to the iinal blessing of Jacob. The blessings which 
he received instead of Esau were but a cause of anguish and sorrow 
to him as far as material benefits were concerned ; cf. Job viii. 7. 

* The first editions read : " ' Better is slowness to anger than the 
proud in spirit.' ' Better is slowness to anger,' this (saying)," etc. The 
Oxford MS. agrees with our text. 

* Read apv'a tidk. 

26X 



262 RABBI ELIEZER 

entreaty.^ (The words) " than the proud in spirit " {ibid.) 
refer to the wicked Esau, because every day he was eating 
the flesh of that which he had hunted. Owing to his pride he 
did not give any of his food to Jacob. Once he went out to 
hunt but he did not meet with any success. He saw Jacob 
eating lentil food, and he desired this in his heart, and he said 
to him : " Let me gulp down, I pray thee, some of that red 
pottage " (Gen. xxv. 30). Jacob said to him : Thou camest 
forth red at thy birth from thy mother ; (now^ thou dost 
desire to eat (this) red food ; therefore he called his name 
" Edom " (red), as it is said, " And Esau said to Jacob " 
(ibid.). 

Rabbi Eliezer said : Lentils are the food of mourning ^ and 
sorrow. Know thou that this is so, for when Abel had been 
killed, his parents were eating lentil food (as a sign) of their 
mourning for him in mourning and sorrow.^ And Jacob was 
eating lentil food in mourning and sorrow^ because the 
kingdom, the dominion, and the birthright belonged to 
Esau. Moreover, on that day Abraham, his grandfather, 
died.^ The Israelites eat lentil food in mourning and sorrow 
on account of the mourning || and sorrow for the Temple,^ 
and on account of the exile of Israel. Hence thou mayest 
learn that the children of Esau will not fall until a remnant 
from Israel shall come and give to the children of Esau lentil 

1 The MS. reads " Pangeoth," so also in first editions. Jastrow 
corrects this and reads Pagneoth (entreaty) ; see T.D 1135a ; his refer- 
ence to our book on 11 86a must be corrected so as to read Chapter 
XXXV. According to Luria the reading should be : " Every day he 
ate plain food." The Oxford MS. has : " Every day he ate food which 
wa.-^ disqualHTd " (for th'- altar). 

2 See T.B. Baba Bathra, i6b ; Pal. Targ. Gen. xxv. 29, and Gen. 
Rab. Ixiii. 14. Ct. Jerome, Epist. xxii. ad Paulam. quoted in JQR- 
vi. 227, and Briill in Kobak's Jeschurun. viii. 31 ff. 

^ The first editions add : " And when Haran was burned in the 
furnace of the Chaldecs, his parents ate lentil food (as a sign) of their 
mourning for him in mourning and sorrow." 

* The Venice edition adds : " because of the kingdom and the 
dominion and the birthright of Esau." 

* Luria thinks that since Jacob was wont to eat lentils, there was 
no special reason to connect this circumstance with the death of 
Abraham. See Posikta Rabbathi xii. p. 48a. 

* The custom of eating lentils on the eve of the Fast of Ab obtained 
formerly; see Tur Orach Chayyim, 552, and cf. Gen. Rab., loc. cit., 
which says that lentils are a suitable repast for mourners because they 
have no mouth {i.e. slit), like the mourner who in his grief is struck 
dumb. Moreover, the lentils by their round form typify the going 
around of trouble and loss in this world. (Sec J.E. vii. 682.) 



VISION OF JACOB AT BETHEL 263 

food in mourning and sorrow, and will take away from them 
the dominion of the kingdom and the birthright, which 
Jacob acquired from (Esau) by oath, as it is said, " And 
Jacob said, Swear to me this day ; and he sware unto him " 
{ibid. 33). 

Rabbi ' Akiba said : Every place where our forefathers went, 
the well went in front of them, and they i dug three times 
and found it before them.^ Abraham dug three times and 
found it before him, as it is said, " And Isaac digged again 
the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of 
Abraham " {ibid. xxvi. 18). And Isaac dug in the land (of 
Canaan) four times, ^ and found it before him, as it is said, 
" And Isaac's servants digged in the valley " {ibid. 19).* 
And it is written about Jerusalem, " And it shall come to 
pass in that day, that living waters shall go out from 
Jerusalem " (Zech. xiv. 8). This refers to the well which 
will arise in Jerusalem in the future,^ and will water all its 
surroundings. Because they found (the well) seven ^ times, 
he ^ called it Shib'ah (seven). ^ 

Jacob was seventy-seven years old ^ when he went forth 
from his father's house, and the well went before him.^" 
From Beer-Sheba as far as Mount Moriah is a journey of two 
days, II and he arrived there ^^ at midday, and the Holy One, 
blessed be He, met him, as it is said, " And he met in the 

' Luria thinks that " they " should be deleted, and that instead of 
this word we should read " Abraham." 

* Three times in connection with Abraham is the digging of a well 
mentioned. Isaac also had to dig for water. The Midrashim differ 
as to the number of wells ; see Gen. Rab. Ixiv. 8. The next sentence in 
our text occurs only in our MS. 

' The first editions read : " three times." 

* The first editions quote the preceding verse and add the following : 
" He dug twice in the ground, and found it before him, as it is said, 
' And Isaac's servants digged in the valley ' " (Gen. xxvi. 19). 

^ The Messianic age. 

^ Three times by Abraham and four times by Isaac. 

^ Isaac. 

* The first editions add here : " as it is said, ' And he called it Shib'ah ' 
(Gen. xxvi. 33). By the name of the well (Beer) was a city called 
' Beer-Sheba unto this day ' " (ibid.). 

* See T.B. Megillah, 17a, and Seder 'Olam Rab. ii. p. 5a. Jacob was 
63 years when he was blessed in place of Esau ; he spent 14 years 
in the " tents" of Shem and Eber; and therefore he was 77 years 
old when he went to Beer-Sheba. 

1" On the well in Jewish theology, cf. Hellenism and Christianity, 
p. 87 ; see also Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 81 and 263. 

^1 Mount Moriah ; sec 'Arukh, ed. Kohut, v. p. 227a, s.v. " Makom. " 



264 RABBI ELIEZER 

place,* and tarried there all night, because the sun was set " 
(Gen. xxviii. 11). Why is the name of the Holy One, blessed be 
He, called Makom ? - Because in every place where the 
righteous arc ^ He is found with them ^ there, as it is said, 
" In every p/ace (Makom) where I record my name ^ I will 
come unto thee, and bless thee " (Ex. xx. 24). The Holy 
One, blessed be He, said to him : Jacob ! The bread is in 
thy bag,^ and the well is before thee, so that thou mayest eat 
and drink ' and sleep in this place. He said before Him : 
Sovereign of all the worlds ! Till now the sun has still fifty 
degrees to set,^ and I am lying down in this place. And 
(thereupon) the sun set in the west, although not in its proper 
time. Jacob looked and saw the sun setting in the west, 
and he tarried there, as it is said, " And he tarried there all 
night, because the sun was set " (Gen. xxviii. 11). 

Jacob took twelve stones ^ of the stones of the altar, 
whereon his father Isaac had been bound, and he set them 
for his })illow in that place,*" to indicate to himself that twelve 
tribes were destined to arise from him. And they all became 
one stone, to indicate to him that all (the tribes) were 
destined to become one people ** on the earth, as it is said, 
" And who is like thy people Israel, a nation that is alone on 
the earth " (1 Chron. xvii. 21). 

^ MaVom is used also as a title of God. The quotation from Gen. 
xxviii. II might be rendered in the sense of our Midrash, thus : " And 
he met the Omnipresent " [i.e. God). In the MSS. the quotation ends 
here. 

^i.e. "Place." The 'Arukh, loc. cit., reads as our MS. The first 
editions read : " Why was the place called Makom ? " 

^ Jalkut, Gen. § 119, reads : " where the righteous stand " (in prayer). 

* Cf. Hos. xii. 4 : " He found him in the House of God " (Bethel). 
^ In the MSS. the quotation ends here. 

* See Jalkut, Gen. loc. ctt. ; the words are based on 2 Kings iv. 42 : 
" fresh ears of corn in his sack." The Targum on this verse renders 
this last word " ,u;arments." Perhaps the best word in our context 
would be " knapsack." 

' The first editions omit : " and sleep." It occurs in Jalljut, 
Gen. loc. cit. 

* This is also the reading of Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit., and agrees with the 
text preserved by Nachmanides, Com. in loc. (Gen.) ; see T.B. Synhedrin, 
95b. and Gen. Rab. Ixviii. 10. 

» See Shocher Tob on Ps. xci. 6 ; Gen. Rab. Ixviii. 1 1 ; Lekach 
Tob, Gen. xxviii. 11. 

'" Jalkut, loc. cit., reads : " The Omnipresent came to make known 
to him," etc. 

" Or " nation" ('u), which is used not only of the heathens but 
also of I.srael. Luria reads dv (people) ; the Venice edition has -m ; 
this is also the reading of the Amsterdam and Prague editions. 



VISION OF JACOB AT BETHEL 265 

Rabbi Levi said : In that night the Holy One, blessed be 
He, showed him all the signs. He showed him a ladder standing 
from the earth to the heaven, as it is said, " And he dreamed, 
and behold || a ladder ^ set up on the earth, and the top of it 
reached to heaven " (Gen. xxviii. 12). And the ministering 
angels were ascending and descending thereon, and they 
beheld the face of Jacob, and they said : This is the face - hke 
the face of the Chayyah,^ which is on the Throne of Glory.* 
Such (angels) who were (on earth) below were ascending to 
see the face of Jacob among the faces of the Chayyah, (for it 
was) like the face of the Chayyah, which is on the Throne of 
Glory. Some (angels) ascended and some descended,^ as it is 
said, " And behold the angels of God were ascending and 
descending on it" {ibid.).^ The Holy One, blessed be He, 
showed him the four kingdoms, their rule and their destruc- 
tion, and He showed him the prince of the kingdom of 
Babylon ascending [seventy rungs, and descending ; and 
He showed him the prince of the kingdom of] " Media as- 
cending fifty-two rungs and descending ; [and He showed 
him the prince of the kingdom of Greece ascending 180 
ascents and descending ;] ^ and He showed him the prince 
of the kingdom of Edom ascending, and he was not de- 
scending, but was saying, " I will ascend above the heights 
of the clouds ; I ^\all be Uke the Most High " (Isa. xiv. 14). 
Jacob replied to him : " Yet thou shalt be brought down to 
Sheol,^ to the uttermost parts of the pit " {ibid. 15). The 
Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : Even " though thou 
shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle " (Jer. xlix. 16). 

Jacob rose up early in the morning in great fear, and 
said : ^ The house of the Holy One, blessed be He, is in this 
place, as it is said, " And he was afraid, and said, How 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here. On the theme cf . Wisdom x. i o. 
2 Cf. Pal. Targum, Gen. in loc. ; and see T.B. ChulHn, gib ; Gen. 

Rab. Ixviii. 12, l.xxviii. 3 ; and Uturgy for the second day of New 
Year, ed. Heidenheim, p. 36a. 

' i.e. the face of a man ; cf. Ezek. i. 10, also T.J. Joma v. 3. 42c. 

* The next sentence does not occur in the printed texts. 

^ See Pal. Targum, Gen. in loc. Note that the text says that the 
ladder was set up towards the earth, i.e. from heaven to earth. 

* See Gen. Rab. Ixviii. 12. 

' The words in square brackets are wanting in the MS., but they 
occur in the first editions. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 
» Cf. Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. xci. p. 46b. 



266 RABBI ELIEZER 

dreadful is this place ! ^ this is none other but the house of 
God " (Gen. xxviii. 17). Hence thou canst learn that every- 
one who prays in Jerusalem - is (reckoned) as though he had 
prayed before the Throne of Glory, =^ for the gate of heaven is 
there, and it is open to hear the prayers of Israel, as it is said, 
■■' And this is the gate of heaven " {ibid.). 

And Jacob returned to gather the stones, and he found 
them all (turned into) one stone, and he set |! it up for a pillar 
in the midst of the place, and oil descended for him from 
heaven,^ and he poured it thereon, as it is said, " And he 
poured oil upon the top of it " {ibid. 18).^ What did the 
Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He placed (thereon) ^ His 
right foot,' and sank the stone to the bottom of the depths, 
and He made it * the keystone of the earth, just like a man 
who sets a keystone in an arch ; ^ therefore it is called the 
foundation stone, ^"^ for there is the navel of the earth, 
and therefrom was all the earth evolved, and upon it the 
Sanctuary of God ^^ stands, as it is said, " And this stone, 
which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house " 
{ibid. 22). 

And Jacob fell upon his face to the ground before the 
foundation stone, and he prayed before the Holy One, 
blessed be He, saying : Sovereign of all worlds ! If Thou wilt 
bring me back to this place in peace, I will sacrifice before 
Thee offerings of thanksgiving and burnt offerings,^^ as it is 
said, " And Jacob vowed a vow, saying " {ibid. 20). There 

1 See Shocher Tob on Ps. xci. 7, which has used our book. 

- Cf . I Kings viii. 42. 

^ See Menorath Ha-Maor, 100. 

* Cf. Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 88, and see Matt. iii. i6 
for the Spirit of God descending hke a dove from heaven in the 
narrative of the baptism of the Founder of Christianity. See Books 
of Adam and Eve in A. and P. ii. pp. 143 f. 

5 See T.J. Joma v. 4. 42c ; Lev. Rab. xx. 4 ; and cf. T.B. Joma, 53b. 

^Lit. "planted." Late eds. read, "stretched forth." 

' According to the words of Isaiah the earth is God's footstool, 
and our Midrash employs this bold imagery in speaking of the right 
foot of God. The stone became the centre stone of the earth, called 
" Eben Shethiyah." See the Assumption of Moses i. 17, with Charles' 
note, in loc and cf. Zohar, Gi-n. 131a, and T.|. Joma. loc. cit. 

8 The MS. reads "' them " ; the first editions read " it." 

9 See Zohar, Gen. 122a. 

1" See J.E. iv. 275b; Pal. Targum on Ex. xxviii. 30, and Siphre, 
Num. 76b. " Shethiyah " may mean " God has set (or fixed) it." 

*^ See supra, p. 71. 

>2 See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxviii. 22, and Shocher Tob on Ps. xci. 7. 
p. 2oob. 



VISION OF JACOB AT BJETHEL 267 

he left the well,i and thence he Hfted up his feet, and in the 
twinkle of the eye he came to Haran, as it is said, " And 
Jacob went on his joiirney,^ and came to the land of the 
children of the east" {ibid. xxix. 1); and the (text) says, 
" And Jacob went - from Beer-Sheba, and went to Haran " 
(ibid, xxviii. 10). "And the Holy God is sanctified in 
righteousness " ^ (Isa. v. 16). The angels answered and said : 
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the Holy God." 

^ See Shocher Tob on Ps. xci., !oc. cit. 

- The quotation ends here in the MS. 

3 The divine righteousness or charity experienced bv Jacob caused 
him to sanctify God. 

* This is the third benediction of the Shemoneh'Esreh ; see Singer, 
p. 45. This benediction of the sanctification should remind us of 
Jacob, according to the teaching of our Midrash. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

JACOB AND LABAN [46b. ii.] 

" When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened ; and 
if thou runnest, || thou shalt not stumble " (Prov. iv. 12). 

Jacob's steps were not straitened,^ and his strength did 
not fail,2 and like a strong hero he rolled away the stone 
from the mouth of the well, and the well came up, and 
spread forth water outside itself,^ and the shepherds saw 
and they all wondered, for all of them were unable to roll 
away the stone * from the mouth of the well ; but Jacob 
alone rolled the stone from off the mouth of the well,'' as it 
is said, " And Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from 
the well's mouth " (Gen. xxix. 10). 

Rabbi Akiba said : Anyone who enters a city,^ and finds 
maidens coming forth before him, his way will be prosperous 
(before him). Whence dost thou know this ? Know that 
it is so. Come and see from Eliezer, the servant of our 
father Abraham, who, whilst he had not yet entered the 
city, found maidens coming out before him, as it is said, 
" Behold, I stand "' by the fountain of water," etc.^ (Gen. 
xxiv. 43). And He prospered his way.^ 

1 This refers to the extraordinary speed of his journey mentioned 
in the previous chapter of our book ; cl. also ■^upra. pp. io8, i lo. 

2 In spite of his excessive speed ; of. supra, p. 213. 

^ Cf . Pal. Targum, Gen. xxix. 10; Gen. Rab. Ixx. 8; and Zohar, 
Exodus, 13a. 

* See Shocher Tob on Ps. xci. i, which reads : " And they wondered, 
because all of them were unable to roll away the stone." 

* The rest of the sentence is wanting in the printed texts. 

* For the purpose of finding a wife. Tliis was the purpose of the 
journey of Eliezer, Jacob, and Moses. See Gen. Rab. lix. 11, and 
supra, p. 108. 

' The quotation ends here in our MS. 

* See the rest of the verse for the reference to the maiden. 

* The first editions add : " As it is said, ' The Lord hath prospered 
my way ' " (Gen. xxiv. 56). 

268 



JACOB AND LABAN 269 

Whence again dost thou learn this ? Know that it is 
so. Come and see from Moses, for, although he had not yet 
entered the city, he found maidens coming out before him, 
as it is said, " Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters ; 
and they came " (Ex. ii. 16). And He prospered his way, 
and he redeemed Israel from Egypt. ^ Whence dost thou 
know this ? Know that it ^ is so. Come and see from Saul, 
for whilst he had not yet entered the city, he found maidens 
coming forth before him, as it is said, " As they went up 
the ascent^ to the city, they found young maidens going 
out" (1 Sam. ix. 11). ■* And He prospered his way and 
he acquired the sovereignty. || And whence do we know 
this ? Know thou that it is so. Come and learn from 
Jacob, for whilst he had not yet entered the city, he found 
maidens coming forth before him, as it is said, " And, 
behold, Rachel his daughter cometh " (Gen. xxix. 6). 

Rab Huna said : Everything is revealed and foreseen 
before the Holy One, blessed be He. Before Jacob came 
to Haran, what did the Holj'^ One, blessed be He, do ? He 
sent a plague among the sheep of Laban, and few were left 
out of many, and Rachel was tending^ these, as it is said, 
" Rachel came with her father's sheep ; ^ for she kept them " 
{ibid. 9). Whence do we know that few remained of the 
many ? Because it is said, " And Jacob fed the rest of 
Laban's flocks " {ibid. xxx. 36), " the rest " (which remained) 
after the plague, in order to increase and multiply Laban's 
flocks at the feet of Jacob.' Hence (the sages) said : Some- 
times the foot of man destroys the house, and sometimes 

^ The Venice edition and MS. Gaster read : " And he advanced to 
kingship." On the kingship of Moses see the Book of Jashar Ixxii. 
34 ff. ; T.B. Zebachim, 102a; of. Jalkut, Gen. § 107. 

^ That one's way will be prosperous if he meet maidens when he 
enters a city. 

3 Our MS. reads : " in the gate." This does not agree with M.T., 
which reads: "up the ascent." 

* This section is wanting in the printed texts ; cf. Jalkut, loc. cit. 
^ See Pal. Targum, in loc. 

* This part of the quotation is omitted by our MS. 

'The first editions add here: "'And the Lord hath blessed thee 
at my foot ' ^ (Gen. xxx. 30). The feet of Jacob were worthy ^ to increase 
and multiply the sheep of Laban. Did the feet of Jacob increase and 
multiply ? " 

1 Where I turned I obtained God's blessing on thy behalf. 

2 Luria reads i3i ; the Venice edition and MS. Gaster read '3i, " and 
were then the feet of Jacob," etc. 



270 RABBI ELIEZER 

the foot of man blesses the house,i as it is said, " And 
the Lord hath blessed thee at my foot " (ibid. 30). Likewise 
Laban - said to Jacob : " I have divined ^ that the Lord 
hath blessed me for thy sake " {ibid. 27). 

When Laban heard the tidings of Jacob, the son of his 
sister, and the power of his might which he had displayed 
at the well, he ran to meet him, to kiss him, and to embrace 
him, as it is said, " And it came to pass, when Laban 
heard the tidings of Jacob, his sister's son " {ibid. xxix. 13). 
" And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother" 
{ibid. 15). Was he then his brother ? Was he not the son 
of his sister ? This teaches thee that the son of a man's 
sister is like his son,^ and the son of a man's brother || is like 
his brother. Whence do we learn (this) ? From Abraham, 
our father, because it is said, " And Abram said to Lot, 
Let there not be strife ^ . . . for we are brethren " {ibid. 
xiii. 8). Another verse (says), " And when Abram ^ heard 
that his brother was taken captive " {ibid. xiv. 14). Was 
he his brother ? ' Was he not the son of his brother ? 
But it teaches thee that the sons of a man's brother are like 
his own brothers. 

The sons of a man's sons are like his own sons. Whence 
do we learn (this) ? From Jacob, because it is said, 
" Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, 
shall be mine " {ibid, xlviii. 5). Were the)' his sons ? 
Were they not the sons of his son ? But it teaches thee 
that the sons of a man's sons are as his own sons. And 
the sons of one's daughters are as one's own sons. Whence 
do we learn (this) ? From Laban, because it is said, " And 

1 The first editions read : " And Jacob's foot brought blessing, 
as it is said," etc. See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxiv. p. 125. 

2 The MS. reads : " Jacob said to Laban." This does not agree with 
M.T. The Oxford MS., the first editions, and MS. Gaster read : " Laban 
said to Jacob." 

^ Laban reUed on divination and the Teraphim ; see T.J. 'Abodah 
Zarah iii. 2. 4 2d. 

* This is the reading of our MS., but the margin has: "it seems 
that one should read, ' like his brother.' " The printed texts also 
read : " the son of a man's sister is called his son." The Oxford MS. 
reads : " like his brother." Luria reads also " like his brother." 
MS. Ciaster reads, " is calkd his son." 

* The quotation ends here in our MS. 

* Luria's text reads " Abraham " ; this should be " Abram " in 
accordance with the Bible text. 

' See T.B. Jebamoth, 17b. 



JACOB AND LAB AN 271 

Laban answered and said unto Jacob, The daughters are 
my daughters, and the sons are my sons " {ibid. xxxi. 43). ^ 
Were they then his sons ? Were they not the sons of his 
daughters ? But it teaches thee that the sons of a man's 
daughters are hke his own sons. 

Jacob began to serve for a wife ■^ for seven years. He ^ 
made a banquet and rejoicing for seven days,* and fnarried 
Rachel,'' as it is said, " Fulfil the week of this one " 
{ibid. xxix. 27). " And Jacob did so, and fulfilled the week 
of this one " ^ {ibid. 28)." All the men of the place were 
gathered together to show loving-kindness to our father 
Jacob, as it is said, " And Laban gathered together all 
the men of the place, and made a feast " {ibid, 22). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said : Ye have shown 
loving-kindness to Jacob, My servant, I also will give || you 
and your sons your reward ^ in this world, so that there be 
no reward for the wicked in the future world, as it is said, 
" Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Aram ^ 
. . . because by him the Lord had given victory unto 
Aram " (2 Kings v. 1). 

(Laban) took his two handmaids, and gave them to his 
two daughters. Were they his handmaids ? Were they 
not his daughters ? ^" But according to the law of the 

1 See T.B. Jebamoth, 62b, and T.B. Baba Bathra, 143b. For an 
opposite view see Gen. Rab. xciv. 6 ; and cf. T.B. Sotah, 49a. 

2 This is based on Hos. xii. 12 ; see Gen. Rab. Ixx. 17. 

^ Jacob. The Oxford MS. and the first editions read : " After 
seven years he made a banquet." The Bible text says that " Laban 
gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast " (Gen. 
xxix. 22). 

* See supra, p. 112, and Pal. Targum, in loc. 

* The Oxford MS. and the first editions read " Leah." 

* Jubilees xxviii. 8 says : " And Laban said to Jacob, ' Let the 
seven days of the feast of this one pass by, and I will give thee Rachel, 
that thou mayst serve me another seven years ' " ; cf. Gen. xxix. 27-29 
and cf. Josephus, Ant. i. 19. 7. 

' The Oxford MS. and the first editions add here : " Again he kept 
another seven days of banquet and rejoicing, and he married Rachel, ^ 
as it is said : ' And he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife ' " (Gen. 
xxix. 28). 

* The whole of this paragraph is omitted in the Oxford MS. 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here. Aram suggests to our author 
Laban, who was an Aramaean. 

1" The legend that Zilpah and Bilhah were sisters occurs in Jubilees 
xxviii. 9 and inTest.XII Pat.,Naph. i. 9, 1 1 ; see also Pal. Targ. Gen. xxix. 
24, 29, Gen. Rab. Ixxiv. 13 ; and Singer, Das Buck der Jubilden, i. p. 118. 

^ See Gen. Rab. Ixx. 20, 



272 RABBI ELIEZER 

land the daughters i of a man by his concubines are called 
handmaids, as it is said, " And Laban gave to Rachel 
his daughter- Bilhah his handmaid to be her handmaid" 
(Gen. xxix. 29).^ 

Rabbi Levi said : The Holy One, blessed be He, saw 
the sorrow of Leah, and He gave her power to conceive, 
(bringing) consolation to her soul ; ■* and she bare a male 
child, goodly in appearance, and wise ; and she said : See 
ye a son ■' which the Holy One, blessed be He, has given 
me, as it is said, " And Leah conceived, and bare a son, 
and she called his name Reuben ; for she said, Because the 
Lord hath looked upon my affliction " {ibid. 32), Therefore 
he ^ called his name Reuben. 

Rabbi Eliezer said : Leah bare her sons after seven 
months,^ and in seven years there were born unto Jacob 
eleven sons *^ and one daughter.^ And all of them were 
born, each with his partner ^^ with him, except Joseph, whose 
partner was not born with him, for Asenath, the daughter 
of Dinah, was destined to be his wife,^^ and (also) except 

1 Read here vnunts'. 

2 In the MSS. the quotation ends here. 

'See Gen. Rab., !oc. cit. The Midrashic reading of Gt-n. xxix. 29 
seems to be : " And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah (by) his 
handmaid (to be) her handmaid." 

*i.e. the joy of motherhood; see Gen. xxix. 31: " And the Lord 
saw that Leah was hated." 

5p m-\ (Reuben). This is not the explanation of the Biblical text 
(Gen. xxix. 32) ; see T.B. Berakhoth, 6b, and Gen. Rab. Ixxi. 4 ; cf. 
J.E. X. 386. ~ 

• The MS. reads " he called." This reading agrees with Jubilees 
xxviii. II. The first editions agree with the Oxford MS. and read: 
" she called." 

' Of gestation. 

8 The first editions read here " tribes." 

9 See Seder'Olam Rab. ii. p. ^a : " All the tribes and Dinah were bom 
within 7 years, each one after 7 months." See T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 
12a. For a different view see Jalkut, Ex. § i, and cf . R. Bcchai on Gen. 
xxix., where the explanation is given as to the month in which each 
tribe was born, each one being born in a different yea.T. See also 
the Book of Jashar xxxi. 15 ff., and Jubilees xxviii. gfi., according to 
which the eleven sons were bom within ten years ; see Charles' note 
on p. 171 of Jubilees, and cf. Schiircr, iii.' 349 (on Dcmetriusj. 

^^ i.e. future wife. They were twins, male and female; cf. infra, 
p. 304. According to Jubilees xxviii. 23, Leah bare two children, 
" a son and a daughter," Zebulnn and Dinah. 

11 On Asenath see Hastings' D.B. i. 162 f. : J.E. ii. 172 ff. ; see also 
Pal. Targum on Gen. xli. 45 and xlvi. 20; Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 97 ; 
Jalkut, Gen. ? 146 (in name of Midrash Abkiiir). See also infra, pp. 
287 f. ; and cf. the Book of Jashar xlix. 36 f. 



JACOB AND LABAN 273 

Dinah, whoserpartner was not born with her. She ^ said : 
This child is (according to) justice and judgment," therefore 
she called her name Dinah.^ 

Rabbi Eliezer also said : Jacob fled in order to come to 
Laban, and he fled to get away from Laban. Whence do 
we know that he fled in order to come to Laban ? Because 
it is said, " And Jacob fled \\ into the field of Aram " (Hos. 
xii. 12). (Whence do we know that) * he fled in order to get 
away from Laban ? Because it is said, " And it was told 
Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled " (Gen. xxxi. 22). 
Wliy did he flee ? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, 
said to him : Jacob ! I cannot suffer My Shekhinah to 
dwell with thee outside the land,^ but " return unto the land 
of thy fathers, and to thy kindred ; and I will be with thee " 
{ibid. 3).'' Therefore he fled. And Laban took all the men 
of his city, mighty men, and he pursued after him, seeking 
to slay him. The angel Michael descended, and drew his 
sword behind him,' seeking to slay him. He said to him : 
Do not speak to Jacob, either good or bad, as it is said, 
" And God came to Laban the Aramaean in a dream of the 
night,*^ and said unto him. Take heed to thyself that thou 
speak not to Jacob either good or bad " {ibid. 24). Laban 
rose up early in the morning, and saw all that Jacob had, 
and he said (to him) : ^ All these are mine, and since thou 
hast taken all these, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my 
Teraphim, which I worshipped ? ^° 

What are the Teraphim ? They slay a man, a firstborn, 

1 Leah. 

2 " Din " (" justice "). The idea here is probably the same as supra, 
p. 152, that the world was originally developed by the primitive 
instincts of nature. See Zohar, Lev. 77b. There may also be a refer- 
ence to the coming events in Shechem. 

3 See T.B. Berakhoth, 6oa, and Pal. Targiim, Gen. xxx. 21. 

* The Oxford MS. and the first editions read : " Whence do we 
know } " The expression is wanting in our MS. 

; * The reference is to the land of Israel. The Oxford MS. reads : " I 
do not desire to let My Glory dwell with thee in this place " ; the later 
editions read : "in the house of Laban." 

® God promises to be with Jacob in his birthplace, and not in the 
house of Laban. See supra, pp. 54 f. 

' i.e. Laban ; see Pal. Targum, Gen. xxxi. 24, and cf. supra, p. 191. 

® In the MSS. the quotation ends here. 

• " To him " occurs in the first editions, but not in the 
MSS. 

1" Have we in the description of the Teraphim a protest against the 
worthip oi relics ? See also^Wisdom xiv. 15. 

18 



274 RABBI ELIEZER 

and he is red (in colour). All that a man requires (to know) 
is not written here. This is impossible, since the men who 
dispute about the knowledge of making (the Teraphim) have 
increased. Everyone who follows that knowledge will 
ultimately go down to Gehinnom.^ And they pinch off his 
head, and salt it with salt,- and they write upon a golden 
plate 3 the name of an unclean (spirit),* and place it under 
his tongue,^ and they put it in the wall, and they kindle 
lamps ^ II before it, and bow down to it, and it " speaks unto 
them. Whence do we know that the Tcrajihim speak ? 
Because it is said, " For the Teraphim have spoken 
vanity " (Zech. x. 2).** On that account had Rachel stolen 
them, so that they should not tell Laban that Jacob had 
fled, and not only that, but also to remove idolatrous 
worship from her father's house. ^ 

Now Jacob knew nothing of all this, and he said : Any- 
one who has stolen thy Teraphim shall die before his proper 

^ The preceding words (from " he is red ") occur in our MS. onlv. 

-For text see Buxtorf, Lexic. Chald. Talm. Rabh. (ed. 1640), 
s.v. D^iDin ; ' Arukh, ed. Kohut, viii. p. 285b, s.v. lin adds : " and spices." 
This addition agrees with the text of the first ' ditions. The Oxford 
MS. reads : " And they burn incense before him, and offer spices before 
him." 

* On yap, fcharm) written on golden plates, see Tosephta Kelim (Baba 
Mezi'a) i. 12. p. 579. See also Origen, c. Cels. vi. 31 ; and M. Friedlander, 
Antichrist, p. 164, note i, for other references and literature. 

' The Oxford MS. adds " spirit." This is also the reading of the 
first editions. 

^ 'Arukh, loc. cit., has " head." 

* Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode, pp. 4-" f., sees here a refer- 
ence to the " lainp of the dead " ; and cf. PL;rles in Monatsschrift, x. 
(1861), p. 382. 

^ 'Arukh, loc. cit., has: " and Laban was speaking with them (the 
Teraphim)." 

* This section occurs also in Midrash Tanchuma, Vayeze, § xii. ; 
Jalkut, Gen. § 130, Jalkut, Zechariah, § 57S, the Book of jashar xxxi. 
41 ; Pal. Targum on Gen. xxxi. 19, and see J.E. xii. 109; also 
Athanasius Kircher, (Edipus JEgyptiacus, i. p. 261, and cf. Selden, 
de Dis Syriis Syntagma, i. ii. pp. 96 ff. On the Teraphim see Blau, 
Altjud. Zatiberwesen, p. 120; Bacher, T. ii. pp. 164 f. ; and cf. Mekhilta 
pp. 67a, b; Siphre. Deut. § 43, p. <Sib. 

* The first editions read here : " not only that, but also to cut away 
the name of idolatry from the house of her father." See also Gen. 
Rab. Ixxiv. 5, and Pal. Targum, Gen. xxxi. 32. 'Arukh, ed. Kohut, 
viii. p. 285b, reads : " and further to destroy idolatry from her father's 
house." J ubilees xxix. 3 fixes Nisan 21st as the day of Jacob's departure 
from Laban. This date corresponds to the day when the Israelites 
crossed the Reed Sea. Jubilees does not mention the Teraphim, but 
has a good deal to say about the wickedness of the Rephaim. Are the 
" Rephaim " purpo.sely substituted for the Teraphim ? 



JACOB AND LABAN 275 

time ; ^ and the utterance - of a righteous person is hke the 
speech from the mouth of an angel,^ and (Rachel) bare 
and died, as it is said, " And it came to pass, as her soul 
was in departing, for she died " (Gen. xxxv. 18). 

Rabbi Jehudah said : Three forefathers made covenants 
with the people of the land.* (With reference to) Abraham 
(the circumstances were as follows).^ When the angels 
were revealed unto him, he thought that they were travellers 
(from among) the people of the land,^ and he ran to meet 
them, and he wished to prepare for them a great banquet,' 
and he told Sarah to prepare cakes for them. When Sarah 
was kneading, she perceived that the manner of women was 
upon her,^ therefore he did not hand them any of the cakes. 
He ran to fetch a calf. But the calf fled from before him, 
and went into the Cave of Machpelah, and he went in there 
after it, and he found Adam and his help-meet^ lying there 
upon their beds,i° and they slept, and lights were kindled 
above them,^^ and a sweet scent was upon them like a sweet 
savour, therefore he desired to have the Cave of Machpelah 
as a burial possession. He spoke to the sons of Jebus, in 
order to purchase from them the Cave of || Machpelah by a 
purchase with gold,^- and by a perpetual deed for a possession 

' The text says : " Let him not hve " (Gen. xxxi. ^2) ; P.R.E. gives 
the paraphrase of this, so also the Pal. Targum, loc. cit. 

* Lit. " that which cometh out of the mouth." 

' This may be an illustration of the verse : " Suffer not thy mouth 
to cause thy flesh to sin ; neither say thou before the angel, that it 
was an error : wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy 
the work of thine hands ? " (Eccles. v. 6). 

* Of Canaan. The first editions add: " And they were: Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob." 

* The words in brackets have been supplied to show the connection 
of thought. The first editions read : " Abraham made a covenant 
with the people of the land." 

* See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 86b. " The angels looked like Arabs," who 
travel from land to land, see Jalkut, Gen. § 82. 

■'See Aboth de R. Nathan (a) xiii. p. 29a; Gen. Rab. xlviii. 12; 
and Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit. 

^ See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 87a. 

'See Zohar, Gen. 127a, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 348. 

i<* See supra, p. 148, and cf. J.E. viii. 248. According to the Book 
of Adam and Eve (ed. Malan) 11. ix., Adam was " laid on the eastern 
side of the inside of the cave, the side of the incense, and (Seth) 
placed in front of him a lampstand kept burning." This was the 
" Cave of Treasures." The legend occurs in Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit. 

^^ Cf. supra, previous page, note 6. 

1^ See Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit. ; here and in Jalkut, Joshua, § 28, the 
expression is : " with a purchase by gold." Luria thinks that our text 
should read : " with a perpetual purchase by gold." 



276 RABBI ELIEZER 

of a biirying-place. Were they Jebusites ? Were they not 
Hittites ? But thev were called Jebusites according to the 
name of the city of Jebus.^ The men did not accept (this 
request).- He began to bow down and prostrate himself unto 
them, as it is said, " And Abraham bowed himself down before 
the people of the land " {ibid, xxiii. 12). 

They said to him : We know that the Holy One, blessed 
be He, will give to thee and to thy seed in the future all 
these lands ; make a covenant with us by an oath that thy 
seed shall not take possession of the cities ^ of Jebus, and we 
will sell unto thee the Cave of Machpelah by a purchase 
with gold and by a perpetual deed and for a perpetual 
possession. He made with them a covenant with an oath 
that the Israelites would not take possession of the city of 
Jcbus * save by the consent of the sons of Jebus, and after- 
wards he bought the Cave of Machpelah by a purchase with 
gold, and a perpetual deed, for a perpetual possession,* (as 
it is said), " And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron ; ^ and 
Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, Avhich he had 
named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred 
shekels of silver, current money with the merchant " 
{ibid. 16). 

What did the men of Jebus do ? They made images 
of copper, and set them up in the street of the city, and 
wrote upon them the covenant of the oath of Abraham, 
When the Israelites came to the land (of Canaan), they 
wished to enter the city of the Jebusites," but they were 

* See I Chron. xi. 4 : " Jerusalem, the same is Jebus, and the 
Jebusites the inhabitants of the land, were there." These inhabitants 
were Hittites by descent ; moreover, the text quoted (Gen. xxiii. 16) 
speaks of them as the " children of Heth." 

2 At first they only consented to permit him to bury Sarah with 
their own dead. 

' See Midrash Haggadol, c. 350. The first editions read : " The city 
of Jebus except by the consent of the children of Jebus." 

* The precedinc; words oi this sentence up to "save by the con- 
sent" arc omitted in the first editions. See Jalkut, Joshua, loc. cil. 
For a variant reading see'Arukh, cd. Kohut, vi. p. i8oa, s.v. tj;. 

^ Cf. Jer. xxxii. 7 ff. for the method of purchasing land. The MS. 
omits "as it is said " ; this reading is found in the first editions. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

^ See Josh. xv. 8, and Judg. i. 8: "And the children of Judah 
fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of 
the sword, and .set the city on fire" ; and cf. verse 19: "for he could 
not drive out the inhabitants of the valley." What is the political 
significance of the legend ? 



JACOB AND LABAN 277 

not able (to enter),i because of the sign of the covenant 
of Abraham's oath,'- as it is said, " And the children of 
Benjamin did not drive out ^ the Jebusites that inhabited 
Jerusalem" (Judg. i. 21). || When David reigned * he desired 
to enter the city of the Jebusites, (but) they did not allow 
him, as it is said, " And the king and his men went to 
Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the 
land ; which ^ spake unto David, saying, Thou shalt not 
come in hither " (2 Sam. v. 6). 

(Although) the Israelites were like the sand of the sea,^ 
yet it was owing to the force of the sign of the covenant of 
Abraham's oath.'' David saw (this) and turned backwards, 
as it is said, " And David dwelt in the stronghold " {ibid. 
9).^ They said to him : Thou wilt not be able to enter the 
city of the Jebusites until thou hast removed all those images 
upon which the sign of the covenant of Abraham's oath is 
written,^ as it is said, " Except thou take away the blind 
and the lame " {ibid. 6). " The lame " refers to the images, 
as it is said, " Wherefore they say. The blind and the 
lame shall not come into the house " {ibid. 8). Lest thou 
shouldst say. The bhnd and the lame did not enter the 
Sanctuary, Heaven forbid (that we should say this), but 
these " bhnd and lame " refer to the images which have 
eyes and see not, feet and they walk not, (as it is said),^" 
" That are hated of David's soul " {ibid.). Because David 
hated to hear of and to see idolatry, as it is said, " Where- 
fore they say, The bhnd and the lame shall not come into 
the house " {ibid.). 

David said to his men : Whoever will go up first, and 
remove those images upon which the sign of the covenant 

1 The MS. omits " to enter " ; it is found in the first editions. 

2 See Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 56; and Rashi, in loc. 

3 The MS. and the first editions omit this first part of the verse. 
«See Siphre, Num. §42; T.B. Zebachim, 114b; and cf. i Chron. 

xi. 4 and Ps. cxxxii. 2-5. David desired to conquer Jerusalem and to 
build the Temple. 

6 Our MS. reads : " The men of Jebus said, Thou shalt not come in 
hither." The last words occur also in i Chron. xi. 5, which reads: 
" the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come in 
hither." The first editions have followed the text of 2 Sam. v. 6. 

® In number ; cf. 2 Sam. xvii. 11. 

' That they were unable to capture the city of the Jebusites. 

® But not in the city. 

9 Cf. I Mace. viii. 22. 
i» " As it is said " is omitted by the MS. ; it occurs in the first editions. 



278 RABBI ELIEZER 

of Abraham's oath ^ is written, he shall be the chief.^ And 
Joab, the son of Zeruiah, went up,^ and he became the chief, 
as it is said, " And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up 
first, II and was made chief" (1 Chron. xi. 6). Afterwards 
he * bought the city of the Jebu sites for Israel by a purchase 
with gold and with a perpetual deed for a perpetual posses- 
sion. What did David do ? He took from each tribe fifty 
shekels; verily all of them amounted to six hundred 
shekels,'' as it is said, " So David gave to Oman « for the 
place six hundred shekels of gold by weight " {ibid. 
xxi. 25). 

Isaac ' made a covenant with the people of the land, 
when he sojourned in the land of the Philistines. He noticed 
that they turned their faces away from him. He went away 
from them in peace, and Abimelech and all his magnates « 
came after him. He said to them : Ye turned aside your 
faces from me, and now ye come unto me, as it is said, 
" And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore are ye come unto 
me,» seeing ye hate me ? " (Gen. xxvi. 27). ' " And they 
said. We saw plainly that the Lord was with thee " {ibid. 
28). They said : We know that the Holy One, blessed be 
He, will give to thy seed in the future all these lands ; 
make a covenant of an oath with us, that thy seed will 
not take possession of the land of the Philistines. He 
made a covenant of an oath with them.i" What did 
Isaac do ? He cut off one cubit ii of the bridle of the 

1 According to Rashi and Kimchi, in. loc, the sign was the effigy of 
Abraham. 

* Lit. " the head." 

^ The first editions add : " first " 

* David. 

^See T.B. Zebachim, ii6b; Siphre, Num. loc. cit. ; Deut. § 62, and 
Baraitha of the 32 Middoth, 15. Our text is referred to by Tosaphoth 
on T.B. Kethuboth, 99a; catchword, " He gave." 

« In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

' S' c Gc'i. Rab. l.Kviii. 7. 

* See Pal. Targum on Gen. xxvi. 26. 

* The quotation ends here in our MS. ; the first editions read as 
far as " Wherefore." As usual, " etc." is added in all the texts. 

»•» This sentence is not in the printed texts. 

" See Pal. Targum, Gen. xxvi. 2Srt., for this legend. According to the 
Midrash Agadaii (Gen. in loc), p. 06, Isaac was riding upon his ass when 
he made the covenant with the Philistines. He cut ofi the measure 
of a cubit from the bridle of the ass, so that it should be a proof to the 
Phihstmes that Isaac had sworn that his children should not take 
the land of the Philistines, 



JACOB AND LABAN 279 

ass upon which he was riding, and he gave it to them that 
it might be in their hands ^ for a sign of the covenant of 
the oath. 

When David reigned, he desired to enter the land of the 
Phihstines, but he was unable (to do so) because of the power 
of the sign of the covenant ^ oath of || Isaac, until he had 
taken from them the sign of the covenant of Isaac's oath, 
as it is said, "And David took the bridle of the cubit ^ 
out of the hand of the Philistines " (2 Sam. viii. 1),* 
as it is written, " So the Philistines were subdued, and 
they came no more within the border of Israel " (1 Sam. 
vii. 13).5 

Jacob made a covenant with the people of the land, 
because Laban said to him : I know that the Holy One, 
blessed be He, will give to thy seed in the future all these 
lands ; make a covenant of an oath with me, that the 
Israelites will not take possession of the land of Edom.^ 
He " made with him a covenant with an oath, as it is said, 
" And Jacob said unto his brethren. Gather ye stones " 
(Gen. xxxi. 46). Were they his brethren ? Were they 
not his sons ? But this teaches thee that a man's sons are 
like his brethren.^ Laban said to him : If the Israelites 
obtain possession of the land (of Canaan), then they must 
not come into the land of Edom ^ for an evil purpose,^" and 
if Edom obtain possession they must not come into the 
land of Israel for evil, as it is said, " That I will not pass 

1 The first editions read here : " And he gave it to him as a sign 
that there should be between them a covenant of an oath." 

2 See Ex. Rab. xx. i ; and Gen. Rab. hi. 7. 

3 See Shocher Tob, Ps. Ix. i, p. 152b, and cf. T.B. ChulHn, 60b, for 
the covenant of Abraham. 

* See Kimchi on this text, where the entire passage from P.R.E. 
is quoted. See also "Arukh, ed. Kohut, v. p. 286b. 

* Luria reads: "And he subdued them." See Tosephta Sotah, 
xi. 13, p. 316. 

* The first editions read " Aram " (Syria). They add the following : 
" And he erected for himself a pillar and (a heap of) stones,^ and 
brought his sons with him in the covenant of the oath." 

' Jacob. 

* Cf. supra, p. 270, and see Rahmcr, op. cit. p. 41. 
® See note 6, above. 

1" The next clause up to " as it is said " occurs only in the 
MS. 

1 See the Book of Jashar xxxi. 52 f. ; and read in this context : nasB 

D'33K% 



280 RABBI ELTEZER 

over this heap to thee,^ and that thou shalt not pass over 
this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm " {ibid. 52). 

When David reigned, he wished to come into the land 
of Edom,2 but he was unable on account of the power of 
the covenant of Jacob's oath until he had broken that 
pillar. Concerning this, Solomon ^ said : " And break in 
pieces their pillars " (Ex. xxiii. 24). Afterwards he con- 
quered the land of Edom,^ as it is said, " David smote 
also Hadadezer the son of Re.hob, king of Zobah,"* as he went 
to recover his dominion at t'ne river " ^ (2 Sam. viii. 3).^ 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. ; the first editions read : 
" That I will not pass over this ,heap," not quoting exactly as in M.T. 

" See xupra, p. 279, note 6, ftrst sentence. 

^ This is an error. It shoul'd be "Moses." The first editions read 
" Moses." 

* The MS. concludes the ^quotation here and omits " the son of 
Rehob." The first editions re^-ad : " as it is written, ' And David smote 
Hadadezer, king of Aram.' "I This is not to be found in the Hebrew 
Bible. See i Chro:;. xviii. 3./ 

* The river Euphrates, /which flows through the land of Syria. 
Zobah was an Aramsean king dom ; see Gesenius (Oxford ed.), p. 844a, b, 
and cf. 2 Sam. x. 6, 8, and jPs. Ix. i. 

« See Shocher Tob, Ps. l;x. r, p. 152b. 

\ ■ 



f 



a 

A' 

i' 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

JACOB AND THE ANGEL [49a. ii.] 

"As if a man did flee from a lion || and a bear met him" 
(Amos V. 19). The " Hon " means Laban, who pursued 
(Jacob) Hke a lion to destroy ^ his life. The " bear " 
refers to Esau, who stood by the way like a bear bereaved 
by man, 2 to slay the mother with the children. The lion 
is shamefaced, the bear is not shamefaced.^ Jacob arose 
and prayed before the Holy One, blessed be He, saying : 
Sovereign of all the Universe ! Hast Thou not spoken 
thus unto me, " Return unto the land of thy fathers, and 
to thy kindred, and I will be with thee " ? (Gen. xxxi. 3). 

And behold, Esau, the evil one, has now come to slay 
me ; but I fear him and he does not fear Thee. Hence 
(the sages) say : Do not fear an executive officer or a ruler, 
but (fear) a man who has no fear of Heaven. (Esau) stood 
by the way like a bear bereaved by man, to slay mother 
and child. 

What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He sent 
an angel ^ to him to deliver him, and to save him from 
the hand ■' of Esau ; and he appeared unto him like a man, 
as it is said, " And there wrestled a man with him ^ until 
the breaking of the day " {ibid, xxxii. 24), As soon as 

1 In Jalkut, Amos, in loc, the reading is " to tear in pieces " ; cf. 
Ps. vii. 2, and see Midrash Haggadol, c. 524. 

2 The first editions read : " hke a bereaved bear, he came." 

^ Laban not only did not molest Jacob, but admitted that he was 
unable to do so. Esau made no such admission. 

* See Gen. Rab. Ixxviii. i, as to whether the angel was Gabriel or 
Michael, see also Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, 95 f . ; for a parallel 
see Pal. Targum, Gen. xxxii. 25. 

^ For the wording see Jer. xlii. 11. 

• i.e. Jacob. The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued 
in the first editions. 



282 RABBI ELIEZER 

the dawn appeared, the angel said to him : Let me go, for 
the time has arrived when I must stand ^ to sing - and to 
chant praises before the Holy One, blessed be He. But 
Jaeob did not wish to let him go. What did the angel do ? 
He began to sing and to chant praises from the earth, || and 
when the angels (on high) heard the voice of the angel 
who was singing and praising from the earth, they said : 
Because of the honour of the righteous (one) do we hear^ 
the voice of the angel who is singing and praising from 
the earth ; and concerning him the verse says, " From the 
uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs,* glory 
to the righteous " (Isa. xxiv. 16). 

Again the angel said to him : " Let me go " (Gen. 
xxxii. 26). Jacob answered him : I will not let thee 
go until thou hast blessed me ; ■' and he blessed him, 
as it is said, " And he blessed him there " {ihid. 29). 
Again he said to him : " Let me go " {ihid. 26). He 
answered him : I will not let thee go until thou tellest me 
what thy name ^ is. And (the angel) called his name 
Israel ^ like his own name, for his own name was called 
Israel.^ Jacob wished to prevail over the angel, and to 
throw him down upon the earth. What did the angel 
do ? He took hold of the sinew of the hip, which was 
upon the hollow of Jacob's thigh, and he lifted the sinew 

^ In Heaven ; cf. Isa. vi. 3 for the song of the angels. The same idea 
occurs in the New Testament; see Luke ii. 13. Sec also Midrash 
Haggadol, c. 511 f. 

^ The first editions read : " to minister." 

^ The MS. reads : " stand." The first editions read : " hear." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* The first editions add : " as it is said : ' I will not let thee go 
except thou bless me ' " (Gen. xxxii. 26). 

* See also Hos. xii. 4. 

' The second half of this sentence is omitted by the Prague edilion. 

* See Gen. Rab. Ixxviii. 3, and Tosaphoth on T.B. Synhedrin, 
37b, catchword "From the corner"; cf. Num. Rab. x. 6. The idea 
of this Haggadah seems to be : the angel is named according to 
the mission entrusted to him by God. Here it was to announce the 
ideal for Jacob to pursiie, namely, that he was to live as Israel, the 
warrior of God, destined in his seed to do battle with everything which 
opposes the establishment on earth of the Kingdom of God. Therefore 
the angel is named Israel. Israel must fear neither man nor angel ; 
he has prevailed over the powers above man, and need fear only God. 
See Judg. xiii. 3 ft. for the case of the angel and Manoah, where the 
same principle obtains. The angel is called 'xSa, which suggests nn'^sn, 
"the separation" involved in the Nazirate of Samson. It may also 
be that tiie angel was the guardian angel of Israel and therefore bore 
the name " Israel " 



JACOB AND THE ANGEL 283 

of his hip (out of its place), and it became Hke the fat ^ 
of the dead. Therefore the children of Israel are for- 
bidden to eat of the sinew of the hip which is upon the 
hollow of the animal's thigh, as it is said, "Therefore the 
children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip which is 
upon the hollow of the thigh " {ibid. 32). 

Jacob wished to cross the ford of the Jabbok, and he 
was detained ^ there. The angel said to him : Didst thou 
not speak thus ^ — " Of all that thou shalt give me * I 
wll surely give a tenth unto thee " (ibid, xxviii. 22) ? 
What did our father Jacob do ? He took || all the cattle 
in his possession which he had brought from Paddan-Aram, 
and he gave a tithe of them amounting to 550 (animals).^ 
Hence thou mayest learn that all the cattle in the possession 
of our father Jacob, which he had brought from Paddan- 
Aram, amounted to 5500 (animals).*' Again Jacob wished 
to cross the ford of the Jabbok, but he was hindered here. 
The angel said : Didst thou not speak thus — " Of all that 
thou shalt give me' I will surely give a tenth unto thee " 
(ibid.)? Behold, thou hast sons. Thou hast not given a 
tithe of them. What did Jacob do ? He put apart the four 
firstborn ^ children of the four mothers, and eight children 
remained. He began (to count) from Simeon, and finished 
with Benjamin, who was still in his mother's womb.^ 

1 The fat around the sinew of the thigh is prohibited to the IsraeUte ; 
see T.B. ChuUin, 89b, 92b, and loob, and Maimonides, Maakhaloth 
Asuroth, viii. i. 

2 xhe first editions read : " and to stay there." 

3 The first editions add: "unto me." The Jalkut, Gen. § 132, 
omits " unto me." 

* The MS. and the first editions omit the first part of the verse. 

5 Jubilees xxxii. 4 refers to the separation of the tithe of Jacob's 
cattle, 119 animals being offered : " This was his offering, in conse- 
quence of the vow which he had vowed that he would give a tenth." 

«The Jalkut, loc. cit., reads: " He took all his cattle and gave a 
tithe amounting to 550 (animals) ; hence we Icam that all his cattle 
amounted to 5500 animals." 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* The first-bom are excluded from the operation of the law of tithe ; 
see T.B. Bekhoroth, 53b. 

' That means, eight children. Two more were required, and starting 
to count ah initio we find that Levi is the tenth. See Jubilees xxxii. 3, 
where Levi is chosen as the tithe : " Jacob counted his sons from 
(Benjamin), and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord." Pal. Targum, /oc. 
c4t., agrees with our author, but Gen. Rab. Ixx. 7, and Tanchuma, Re'eh, 
§ xiv., offer another calculation. Both Jubilees and our author fix the 
choice of Levi at the time when " Rachel became pregnant with her 
son Benjamin" (Jubilees xxxii. 3). 



284 RABBI ELIEZER 

Again he began (to count) from Simeon, and he inchidcd 
Benjamin, and Levi was reckoned as the tithe, holy to God, 
as it is said, " The tenth shall be holy unto the Lord " 
(Lev. xxvii. 32). 

Rabbi Ishmael said : All firstborns are required to have a 
tithe taken (only) when they fall under the observation ^ of 
the eye.- Only Jacob observed the law of tithe in advance ; 
he began with Benjamin, who was in his mother's womb, 
and Levi was reckoned as holy to the Lord,^ and concerning 
him the Scripture says, " The tenth shall be holy unto 
the Lord " (ibid.). 

Michael, the angel, descended and took Levi, and 
brought him up before the Throne of Glory,'' and he spake 
before Him : Sovereign of all || the universe ! This is Thy 
lot,^ and the portion ^ of Thy works." And He put forth 
His right hand and blessed him, that the sons of Levi 
should minister on earth ^ before Him, like the ministering 
angels in heaven.^ Michael spake before the Holy One, 
blessed be He : Sovereign of all worlds ! Do not such 
who serve the king have provision of their food given to 
them ? Therefore He gave to the sons of Levi all holy 
things which accrue to His Name,i" as it is said, " They 
shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his 
inheritance " (Deut. xviii. 1). 

^ According to Luria we should read : " When they do not fall under 
the obser\'ation of the eye." 

* i.e. guarded so that the owner derives no benefit from them ; see 
T.B. Bekhoroth, gb. and T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 6b. 

^ This is exactly the same method of reckoning which occurs in 
Jubilees xxxii. 3. Dr. Charles' note on p. 192 of JubiUe^ must he 
modified accordingly. See also Jalkut, Cen. § 133. 

'' See Test. Levi ii. 6 : " And behold the heavens were opened, and 
an angel of God said to me, Levi, enter." 

* See supra, p. 177. 

* So also in Jubilees xxxii. 3. 

^ Instead of "Thy works " (t»vd) read : " Thy tithe" (Ticyo) ; see 
R. Bechai on Num. xviii. 20, p. _>i)oa, and Jalkut. lor. tit. 

* See Deut. x. 8, and cf. Test. Levi ii. 10 fif., which forms a close 
parallel to our Midrash. 

^ The priests are called " angels " ; sec Mai. ii. 7, which the R.V. 
renders " messenger" ; see also Ps. ciii. 21, and cf. Gen. Rab. Ixx. 7. 

'" Jubilees xxxii. 15 reads : " And all the tithes of the oxen and 
sheep shall be holy unto the Lord, and shall belong to His priests." 
Our author and Jubilees agree in ascribing the law of the tithe and 
the choice of Levi to the priesthood to Jacob's fulfilment of his vow 
to give a tithe " of all that came with him, both of men and cattle " 
(Jubilees xxxii. 2). 



JACOB AND THE ANGEL 285 

When Jacob passed to come into the land of Canaan, 
Esau came to him from Mount Seir in violent anger, con- 
triving to slay him, as it is said, " The wicked plotteth 
against the just, and gnasheth upon him Avith his teeth " 
(Ps. xxxvii. 12). Esau said : I will not slay Jacob with 
bow and arrows, but with my mouth and with my teeth 
will I slay him, and suck his blood, as it is said, " And 
Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his 
neck, and kissed him; and they wept" (Gen. xxxiii. 4). 
Do not read vayishakehu (and he kissed him), but (read) 
vayishkehu (and he bit him). But Jacob's neck became 
like ivory, and concerning him the Scripture says, " Thy 
neck is like the tower of ivory " (Cant. vii. 4). The wicked 
(Esau's) teeth became blunt,^ and when the wicked one 
saw that the desire of his heart was not realized he began 
to be angry, and to gnash with his teeth, as it is said, 
" The wicked shall see it, and be grieved ; he shall gnash 
with his teeth, and melt away " (Ps. cxii. 10). 

Jacob took all the tithe of his possessions and sent it 
by the hand of his servants, and gave it to Esau, saying 
to them : Say ye || to him, " Thus saith thy servant 
Jacob " (Gen. xxxii. 4). The Holy One, blessed be He, 
said to him : Jacob ! That which was holy hast thou 
made profane ? He replied to Him : Sovereign of all 
worlds ! I flatter the wicked, so that he should not slay 
me. Hence the (wise men) say, we may flatter the wicked 
in this world for the sake of the ways of peace.- Esau 
said to him : O my brother, I have enough ; as it is said,^ 
" And Esau said, I have enough " (Gen. xxxiii. 9). And 
because he gave honour to Jacob,* therefore the sons of 
Jacob paid honour to the sons of Esau with the same 

' See Cant. Rab. to Cant. vii. 5, Gen. Rab. liv. 9, and Midrash 
Haggadol, c. 51 7. The New Testament speaks of Esau as " a fornicator or 
profane person " (Heb. xii. 16) ; " For ye know that even when he after- 
ward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place 
of repentance, though he sought it diUgently with tears " {ibid. 17). 

- See T.B. Sotah, 41b, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 50S. On the 
" ways of Peace " see Lazarus, Ethik, i. pp. 179 ff. The Sermon on the 
Mount says : " Resist not him that is evil " (Matt. v. 39). The disciples 
of the Founder of Christianity are commanded to be " wise as serpents 
and harmless as doves" (ibid. x. 16), as they were being sent forth 
" as sheep in the midst of wolves " (ibid.). 

^ See Jalkut, loo. cit. 

* The first editions read : " Because Jacob gave honour to Esau." 



286 RABBI ELIEZER 

expression ; ^ as it is said, " Ye have compassed this 
mountain long enough'' (Deut. ii. 3). The Holy One, 
blessed be He, said to him : Jacob ! Is it not enough for 
thee that thou hast made profane that which is holy ? 
Nay, but I have said, " And the elder ^ shall serve the 
younger " (Gen. xxv. 23) ; and yet thou hast said, " Thy 
servant Jacob " {ibid, xxxii. 4). By thy life ! it shall be 
according to thy words ; he shall rule over thee in this 
world, and thou shalt rule over him in the world to come. 
Therefore Jacob said to him (Esau) : " Let my lord, I 
pray thee, pass over before his servant " {ibid, xxxiii. 14). 
Hence thou mayest learn that the sons of Esau %vill not 
fall until a remnant from Jacob shall come, and cut off 
the feet of the children of Esau from Mount Scir,-^ and the 
Holy One, blessed be He, will descend.^ " And there 
shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau ; ^ for 
the Lord hath spoken it " (Obad, 18). 

* " Rab " (enough), also signifying " Rabbi " or " Master" ; cf. the 
N.T. use of Rabbi, as a title of honour. Matt, xxiii. 7. See also Deut. 
Rab. xi. 10, and Mi;!rash HaH;uadol, c. 517. 

* This in Hebrew is " Rab." 

* Seir was the territory' of Esau . 

* This phrase, "and th.; Holy One, ble.'^sed be He, will descend," 
occurs only in the MS. The first editions quote Kum. xxiv. 19. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN [50b. i.] 

" Or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, 
and the serpent bit him " ^ {Amos v. 19). When Jacob 
went into his house in the land of Canaan - the serpent 
bit him. || And who was the serpent ? This was Shechem, 
the son of Chamor.^ Because the daughter of Jacob was 
abiding in the tents, and she did not go into the street ; ^ 
what did Shechem, the son of Chamor, do ? He brought 
dancing girls who were (also) playing on pipes ^ in the 
streets.^ Dinah went forth to see those girls who were 
making merry ; and he seized her,^ and he slept with 
her, and she conceived and bare Asenath.^ The sons of 
Israel said that she should be killed, for they said that 
now people would say in all the land ^ that there was an 
immoral daughter 1° in the tents of Jacob. 

^ The preceding chapter in our book began with the first half of 
this verse of Amos. Was the Haphtarab for the portion of Vajishlach 
(Gen. xxxii. 3-xxxvi. 43) Amos v., instead of Obadiah, which is now 
read in the Synagogues of the Sephardim ? 

2 The first editions read : " land of his possession, which was in 
the land of Canaan." 

' Add " the Hivite " ; this emendation is based on the reading in 
Eccles. Rab. to Eccles. x. 8 ; cf. T.B. Sabbath, 85a, and Midrash Hag- 
gadol, c. 524 and c. 527. See Jubilees xxx. 2. The Targum of vm 
(serpent) is 'in, which suggests " Hivite." 

* See the Book of Jashar xxxiii. 5ff., and Pal. Targum, Gen. xxxiv. 
I ; see also Gen. Rab. Ixxx. 5, Lekach Tob, in loc, and Midrash 
Haggadol, c. 524. 

* See Luria's commentary in loc, and Sopherim xxi. 8. 

* The MS. text could be rendered : " outside his (house) " ; the first 
editions read : " outside her (house)." 

' See Jalkut, Gen. § 134 ; Lekach Tob, in loc. ; Rashi, in loc. 

^ See supra, pp. 272 f. 

' The first editions read : " for now would all (the people of) the 
land say that there was a house of ill-fame in the tents of Jacob." 

1" The reading in Jalkut, loc. cit., is " daughter" (na). The ist ed. 
reads " house" (n'a). 

287 



288 RABBI ELIEZER 

What did (Jacob) ^ do ? He wrote the Holy Name upon 
a golden platc,^ and suspended it about her ^ neck and 
sent her away. She went her way. Everything is revealed 
before the Holy One, blessed be He, and Michael the angel 
descended ' and took her, and brought her down to Egypt 
to the house of Potiphera ; because Asenath was destined 
to become the wife of Joseph.'' Now the wife of Potiphera 
was barren, and (Asenath) grew up with her as a daughter.^ 
When Joseph came down to Egypt he married her, as it 
is said, " And he " gave him ^ to wife Asenath ^ the 
daughter of Potiphera priest of On " (Gen. xli. 45). 

Simeon and Levi were moved by a great zeal on account 
of the immorahty, as it is said, " And they said, Should 
he deal with our sister as with an harlot ? " {ibid, xxxiv. 31). 
And each man ^" took his sword and slew all the men of 
Shechem. When Jacob heard thereof, he became sorely 
afraid. ^^ For he said : Now all the people of the land will 
hear, and they will gather together against me || and smite 
mc. He began to curse the wrath of his sons, as it is said, 
" Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce " {ibid. xlix. 7) ; 
and he also cursed their sword ^- in the Greek language, 

' The MS. omits " Jacob " ; the first editions insert this word. 
' The first editions read : " He brought a plate and wrote 
upon it," see TB. Kiddushin, 73b. 

* Asenath's. 

* See Sopherim, loc. cit. 

* The Midrash Agadah, Gen. p. 97, has copied our book in giving the 
legend of Asenath. The narrative is also given in the book Raziel, 
p. 7a ; see also Jalkut, Gen. § 146. 

* As to the sterility of the wife of Potiphera see Koran, Joseph 
Sura, and cf. Gen. Rab. Ixxxvi. 3; Midrash Haggadol, c. 579; Lekach 
Job, Gen. p. 98b. note 9 ; Jalkut to Pss., § 732 ; and cf. T.B. Sotah, 13b. 
The legend that Potiphera was impotent passed from the Jews to 
Jerome. See Schapiro, Die Haggadischen Eleniente im erzdhleiiden Teil 
des Korans, p. 34 f. ; and A. Marmorstein, Studien zum Pseudo- Jonathan 
Tar gum, pt. i. pp. 31 fi. 

' Pharaoh. 

,* Joseph; see Sophcnm (cd. Miiller), p. 309 (49), and J. Perle.s, 
R.E.J, xxi. p. 254. 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

1" Simeon and Levi. 

" The phraseology is based on Neh. ii. 2. Luria reads here : "as 
it is said : ' Ye have troubled me, to make me of bad repute among 
the inhabitants of the land . . . and, I being few in number, they 
will gather themselves together against me and smite me ' " (Gen. 
xxxiv. 30). 

^- This agrees with the reading preserved in 'Arukb, cd. Kohuf, v. 
p. 139; see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 119. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 289 

for he said : " Weapons of violence are their swords " ^ 
{ibid. 5).2 All the kings ^ of the earth heard (thereof) and 
feared very much, saying : If two sons of Jacob have done 
all these great things, if they all band themselves together, 
they will be able to destroy the world.* And the dread 
of the Holy One, blessed be He, fell upon them, as it is 
said, " And the terror of God ^ was ^ upon the cities, . . . 
and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob " {ibid. 
XXXV. 5). 

Jacob took his sons and his grandsons,^ and his wives, 
and he went to Kirjath Arba (so as to be) near Isaac his 
father. And he found there Esau and his sons and his 
wives dwelling in the tents of Isaac.^ And he spread his 
tent apart from him ; ^ and Isaac saw Jacob, his wives,^" 
his daughters, and all that belonged to him, and he rejoiced 
in his heart exceedingly. Concerning him the Scripture 
saith, " Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, peace 
be upon Israel " ^^ (Ps. cxxviii. 6). 

Rabbi Levi said : In the hour of the ingathering 12 of 
Isaac, he left his cattle and his possessions, and all that 
he had, to his two sons ; therefore they both rendered 
loving-kindness (to him), as it is said, " And Esau and 
Jacob his sons buried him " (Gen. xxxv. 29). 

Esau said to Jacob : Divide all that my father has left 
into two portions, and I will choose i^ (first), because I am the 
elder." || Jacob said : This wicked man has not satisfied 

1 The Amsterdam and Prague editions add : " For thus do the 
Greeks call the sword," tdd (/xdxatpa, "daggers"); cf. Tanchuma, 
Vayechi, § ix. This addition is also given by the 'Arukh (ed. Kohut), 
V. p. 139b, s.v. 130. Jerome uses this version. See Steinschneider's 
Festschrift, p. 158, article by Krauss. 

^ See Gen. Rab. xcix. 6. 

3 Later editions read : " All the inhabitants." 

* Later editions read : " us." 

* R.V. renders here : " a great terror." 

* In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

' " Grandsons " is probably an error ; see Seder '01am Rab. ii. 6a ; 
Gen. Rab. loc. cit. ; and the Book of Jashar xxxi. 38. 

» But Jacob's home was at Migdal Eder ; cf. Pal. Targum, Gen. xxxv. 
21, and Mic. iv. 8. 

* i.e. apart from Esau ; cf. the Book of Jashar xxxii. 72. 

10 The first editions add : " his sons." 

" " Israel " is interpreted here as pointing to Jacob. 

12 i.e. at his death. See Midrash Haggadol, c. S41 

" See T.B. Sotah, 13a. 

" The first editions read : " the first-born," 



290 RABBI ELIEZER 

his eye with wealth, as it is said, " Neither are his eyes 
satisfied with riches " (Eccles. iv. 8). What did Jacob 
do ? He divided all that his father had left as the one 
part, and the other part was to be the land of Israel and 
the Cave of Machpelah.^ What did Esau do ? He went 
to Ishmael ^ in the wilderness in order to consult him, as 
it is said, "And Esau went unto Ishmael" (Gen. xxviii. 9). 
Ishmael said to Esau : The Amorite and the Canaanite ^ 
are in the land, and Jacob trusts (in God) that he will 
inherit the land, therefore take all that thy father has 
left, and Jacob will have nothing.^ 

And Esau took all that his father had left, and he gave 
to Jacob the land of Israel, and the Cave of Machpelah, 
and they wrote a perpetual deed between them.^ Jacob 
said to Esau : Go from the land of my possession, from 
the land of Canaan. Esau took his wives, and his sons, 
and his daughters, and all that he had, [as it is said, " And 
Esau took his wives . . . and all his possessions which 
he had gathered in the land of Canaan],^ and went into 
a land "^ away from his brother Jacob " {ihid. xxxvi. 6). 
And as a reward ^ because he removed all his belongings 
on account of Jacob his brother, He gave him one hundred 
provinces from Seir unto Magdiel, and Magdiel is Rome, 
as it is said, " Duke Magdiel, Duke Iram " {ihid. 43).^ 

Then Jacob dwelt safely and in peace in the land of 

^ This is also the reading in Jalkut, Gen. § 138, and in Midrash 
Haggadol, loc. cit.\ cf. Ex. Rab. xxxi. 17, and infra, pp. 291, 309. 
The first editions omit " and the Cave of Machpelah." The rest of the 
paragraph is wanting in Midrash Haggadol. 

* Luria thinks that we should read " the sons of Ishmael " instead 
of " Ishmael " both here and in the next sentence. The first 
editions agree with the text of our MS. See Seder 'Olam Rab. ii. 
p. 5a. 

^ See Gen. xii. 6. The Jalkut, Gen. loc. cit., reads " The Canaanite," 
without mentioning the Amorite. 

* Cf. Test. XII Pat., Gad vii. 4: " For though a man become rich 
by evil means, even as Esau, the brother of my father, be not jealous ; 
but wait for the end of the Lord." 

* On the written agreement between them see infra, p. 309. 

* The words in brackets are not in the MS., but they occur in the 
first editions. 

' The MS. adds here " etc.," clearly indicating that the words 
" and went into a land " belong to a quotation from Scripture. The 
quotation is continued in the first editions. 

* See Jalkut, Gen. § 76 (quoting the Tanna de be Elijahu) , and see also 
Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xiii. p. 05, note 49. 

* See den. Rab. Ixxxiii. 4. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 291 

his possession/ and in the land of his birth, and in the land 
of the sojournings of his father. - 

Rabbi Ishmael said : Every son of the old age || is beloved 
of his father, as it is said, " Now Israel loved Joseph ^ 
more than all his children, because he was the son of his old 
age " (ibid, xxxvii. 3). Was he then the son of his old age ? 
Was not Benjamin the son of his old age ? * But owing 
to the fact that (Jacob) saw by his prophetic power that 
(Joseph) would rule ^ in the future, therefore he loved him 
more than all his sons. And they envied him with a great 
envy, as it is said, " And his brethren saw that ^ their 
father loved him more than all his brethren ; and they 
hated him " {ibid. 4). Further, because he saw in his 
dream that in the future he would rule, and he told his 
father, and they envied him yet more and more, as it is 
said, " And they hated ^ him yet the more " {ibid. 8). 
Moreover, he saw the sons of his father's concubines ^ 
eating the flesh of the roes and the flesh of the sheep whilst 
they were alive,' and he brought a reproach ^ against 
them before Jacob their father, so that they could not see 
his face any more (in peace), as it is said, " And they 
could not speak peaceably unto him " {ibid. 4). Jacob 

1 The first editions read : " in the land of Canaan." 

* The first editions add here : "as it is said : ' And Jacob dwelt 
in the land of his father's sojournings ' " (Gen. xxxvii. i). 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* According to Rashbam (comm., in loc), Jacob called his youngest 
child " Son of days " — Ben-jamin ; Judah also referred to him as " the 
child of old age." Onkelos renders : " Son of wisdom," i.e. a wise 
child; see T.B. Megillah, i6b; Lekach Tob, Gen. xxxv. i8, p. gia, 
notes 46 and 47. The interpretation given by P. RE. agrees with the 
Arabian legend quoted by Schapiro, op. cit. p. 19. The same ex- 
planation is also given by Ephraim of Syria, Hist, of Joseph, p. 16 
(quoted by Schapiro). 

^ In Egypt, and there he would sustain the entire family in Jacob's 
old age. The reference to kingship may also refer to the ascendancy 
of the house of Joseph in Jewish history, and perhaps to the rule of the 
Messiah ben Joseph. 

« See Test. XII Pat., Gad i. 6. and cf. Gen. Rab. Ixxxiv. 7. 

' This was one of the seven precepts of the " Sons of Noah " ; 
see Pal. Targum, Gen. ix. 4. On the mutilation of the flock see T.B. 
Bekhoroth, 39b ; T.B. Kethuboth, 5b, and 37a ; and cf . T.B. Chullin, 
1 2 lb. They are said to have taken of the flesh of the ear of the sheep, 
although the animals were alive. See Test, of the XII Pat., Gad, loc. 
cit.. where a " lamb " incident is mentioned ; and cf. Pal. Targ. on Gen. 
xxxvii. 2. 

* 'Bi, " reproach " ; cf. Ps. 1. 20, where LXX renders the word by 
aKavSaXov (offence). 



292 RABBI ELIEZER 

said to Joseph : Joseph, my son ! Verily I have (waited) 
many days without hearing of the welfare of thy brethren, 
and of the welfare of the flock, as it is said, " Go now, 
see whether it be well with thy brethren,^ and well with 
the flock" (ibid. 14.). And the lad- was wandering ^ in 
the field, and the angel Gabriel ^ met him, as it is said, 
" And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was 
wandering ^ in the field " {ibid. 15). (The word) " man " 
(here in this context) is Gabriel only, as it is said, " The 
man Gabriel,'' whom I had seen in the vision " (Dan. ix. 21). 

And (Gabriel) said to him : What seekest thou ? He 
said to him : I seek my brethren, as it is said, " And he 
said, I seek my brethren " (Gen. xxxvii. 16). And he led 
him to II his brethren, and they saw him and sought to slay 
him, as it is said, " And they saw him afar off " {ibid. 18). 
Reuben said to them : Do not shed his blood, as it is 
said, " And Reuben said unto them. Shed no blood ; ^ 
cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness " {ibid. 22), 
And ^ his brethren listened to him, and they took Joseph 
and cast him into the pit, as it is said, " And they took 
him, and cast him into the pit " {ibid. 24). What did 
Reuben do ? He went and stayed on one of the mountains, 
so as to go down by night to bring up Joseph out of the 
pit. And his nine brethren were sitting do%vn ^ in one 
place, all of them like one man, with one heart and one 
plan. 8 Ishmaelites passed by them, and (the brethren) 
said : Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and they 
will lead him to the end of the wilderness, and Jacob 
will not hear any further report concerning him. 

(The brethren) sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty 

1 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

2 The MS. repeats the word " lad " ; this is due to the scribe's care- 
lessness. 

^ See Pal. Targum, in loc, and the Book of Jashar xh. 22. The 
first editions read : " was walking and wandering on the way." 

* See Jalkut, Gen. § 141, and Pal. Targum, in loc. Tliis legend 
was known to Basil (i. p. 19). See Schapiro, op. cii., p. 27, for the 
legend of the angel Gabriel and Joseph in Arabian literature. Gabriel 
appears in the New Testament account of the Annunciation of the birth 
of Jesus ; see Luke i. 2t>. 

' The quotation ends here in the ist ed. 

* The first editions add here : " and he will die there." 
' To eat bread ; cf. Gen. xxxvii. 25. 

* Tanchuma, Vayesheb, 4^ ii , reads : " As one man with one purpose." 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 293 

pieces ^ of silver, and each one of them took two pieces 
of silver (apiece) to purchase shoes for their feet, as it is 
said, " Thus saith the Lord, . , . Because they have sold ^ 
the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes " ^ 
(Amos ii. 6). They said : Let us swear * among ourselves 
that no one of us shall declare the matter to our father 
Jacob. ^ Judah said to them : Reuben is not here, and 
the ban cannot be valid through nine (adults).^ What did 
they do ? They associated the Omnipresent with them and 
proclaimed the ban. 

And Reuben || went down by night to bring up Joseph 
out of the pit, but he did not find him there.^ He said 
to them : Ye have slain Joseph ; " and I, whither shall 
I go ? " (Gen. xxxvii. 30). And they told him what they 
had done, and the ban which they had proclaimed ; and 
Reuben heard of the ban, and was silent ; the Holy One, 
blessed be He, because of the ban, did not tell the matter 
to Jacob, and (though) concerning Him it is written, " He 
sheweth his word unto Jacob " (Ps. cxlvii. 19) ; but this word 
He did not shew unto Jacob, therefore Jacob did not know 
what had been done to Joseph, and he said : " Joseph is 
without doubt torn in pieces " (Gen. xxxvii. 33). 

Rabbi Jannai said : The sale of Joseph was not atoned 
by the tribes ^ until they^ died, as it is said, "And the 

^ See Test. Gad ii. 3(b), with Charles' note, in loc. Pal. Targ., 
in loc. and the Book of Jashar xJii. 19. Test. Zeb. i. 5 says : 
" Nor yet do I remember that I have done any iniquity, except the 
sin of ignorance which I committed against Joseph ; for I covenanted 
with my brethren not to tell my father what had been done." See the next 
verse also. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* Thereby reducing the needy to the condition of slavery. This 
legend has been borrowed from Test. Zeb. iii. 2, or from its source; 
see Pal. Targ. Gen. xxxvii. 28, and Liturgy, Day of Atonement, ed. 
H. M. Adler, ii. pp. i/Sf. 

* Lit. " Let us put ourselves under the ban " (to prevent our 
divulging the matter). 

^ The first editions add here : " except it be by the consent of all 
of us." See supra, notp i, quotation from Test. Zeb. i. 5. 

* The first editions read : " The ban cannot be vahd save by ten 
(adults)." See Midrash Haggadol, c. ^,64. 

'Tanchuma, loc. cit., adds: "and he returned to his brethren and 
said to them." See Test. Zeb. iv. 5. 

* See Gen. Rab. Ixxxiv. 17, and cf. Tosephta Berakhoth iv. 18, 
p. 1 1. 

» i.e. Joseph's brethren. The brethren are called " the tribes " ; 
see supra, p. 264, and infra, p. 376. 



294 RABBI ELIEZER 

Lord of hosts revealed Himself in mine ears, Surely this 
iniquity shall not be purged ^ from you till ye die " 
(Isa. xxii. 14).- Owing to the sale (of Joseph) a famine 
came into the land of Israel for seven years, and the 
brethren of Joseph " went down to buy corn " (Gen. xlii. 3) 
in Egypt. And they found Joseph (still) living, and they 
absolved themselves of the ban ; ^ and Jacob heard about 
Joseph that he was living, and his soul and his spirit 
revived.^ Did their father Jacob's spirit die, so that it 
had to be revived ? But, owing to the ban, the Holy Spirit 
had departed from him, and when they had removed the 
ban the Holy Spirit rested on him as at first ; that || is what 
is written, " The spirit of Jacob their father revived " 
{ibid. xlv. 27).5 

Rabbi Akiba said : The ban is as much as the oath, and 
an oath is as much as the ban ; and everyone who violates the 
ban is as though he had violated the oath, and everyone who 
violates the oath is as though he had violated the ban. 
Everyone who knows the matter and does not declare ® 
it, the ban falls upon him and destroys his timber and his 
stones, as it is said, " I will cause it to go forth, saith 
the Lord . . . and it shall enter into the house of him 
that sweareth falsely by my name . . . and shall consume 
it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof " 
(Zech. V. 4).' 

Know the power of the ban.^ Come and see from 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. See Midrash Haggadol, c. 565. 

* See Tanchuma, loc. cit., in name of R. Mana. 

'Lit. "they annulled" or "loosened the ban." Cf. the use of 
" binding and loosing" in the N.T. : "I will give unto thee the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth 
shall be bound in heaven : and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth 
shall be loosed in heaven " (Matt. xvi. 19). 

* The first editions add : " as it is said, ' The spirit of Jacob, 
their father, revived ' " (Gen. xlv. 27). 

* The first editions add : " Onkelos translates this (passage) : 
'And the spirit of prophecy rested on Jacob their father.' " Luria 
thinks that this is a gloss. On Onkelos see J.E. ix. 405, and see 
Hastings' D.B. iv. 679b. 

* As in the case of Achan's children ; see infra, p. 206. Cf. Tanchuma, 
loc. cit., and see T.B. and T.J. Nedarini, Maimonides, Hilkhoth Nfdarim, 
and Shulchan 'Arukh, Joreh Di'ah, § 203 if., on the laws as to vows. 

' In the MS. the first part only of the verse is given ; in the first 
editions only the latter part is quoted. See Jalkut, Zech. (ed. King), 

P- 34- 

* See Tanchuma, loc. cit. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 295 

Joshua, the son of Nun, who put Jericho under the ban ; 
it was to be burnt with all things therein by fire. Achan, 
son of Carmi,^ son of Zerach, saw the Teraphim,^ and the 
silver which they brought (as offerings) before it, and the 
mantle which was spread before it, and one tongue of gold 
in its mouth. And in his heart he coveted them, and 
went and ^ buried them in the midst of his tent. On 
account of his trespass which he had committed, thirty-six 
righteous men died on his account,* as it is said, " And 
the men of Ai smote of them ^ about thirty and six men " 
(Josh. vii. 5). 

Joshua went and rent his garments, and fell upon his 
face to the ground before the Ark of the Covenant of God, 
and he sought (to effect) repentance, and the Holy One, 
blessed be He, was appeased by him, and He said to him : 
Joshua ! Israel has trespassed the sin of trespass in the 
matter of the devoted things, as it is said, " Israel hath 
sinned " {ibid. 11). Joshua gazed at the twelve || stones 
which were upon the High Priest, which correspond to the 
twelve tribes.^ Every' tribe that had done some trans- 
gression, the light (of its stone) became dim,^ and he saw 
the stone of the tribe of Judah,*^ the light of which became 
dim. And he knew that the tribe of Judah had transgressed 
in the matter of the devoted thing. He cast lots, and 
Achan was taken, as it is said, " And he brought near ^ 
his household man by man ; and Achan, the son of Carmi, 
was taken " (ibid. 18). Joshua took Achan, the son of 
Zerach,!" with the silver and the mantle and the tongue of 
gold, and his sons and his daughters, and all that he had, 

^ The name " Carmi " means vineyard-man ; see Josh. vii. i. 

* This is inferred from the reference in the Book of Joshua 
vii. 21 to the "tongue of gold" stolen by Achan; see supra, 
p. 274. 

^ The first editions add : " and he took them." 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 44a. 

^ The quotation ends here in the MS ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* The first editions insert here : "The Ught of every tribe which had 
observed the commandments (lit. which had a precept in its hand) 
shone." 

' The first editions read : " its light did not shine." 

* See Rashi, on Josh., in loc, who quotes P.R.E. 

* The MS. omits the words : " his household, man by man." 

^° See Josh. vii. 18 : " Achan, son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the 
son of Zerach." 



296 RABBI ELIEZER 

and he brought them up into the valley of Achor.^ And 
it is written, " The fathers shall not be put to death for 
the children,^ neither shall the children be put to death for 
the fathers " (Dent. xxiv. 16). But because they were 
cognizant of the matter, and did not report it,^ he stoned 
them and burnt them.'* Tf there was a burning, why (was 
there) a stoning, and if a stoning, why a burning ? But the 
stoning was because they knew of the matter and did not 
report it ; burning (was inflicted) because thirty-six righteous 
men died through him,^ as it is said, "And the men of Ai 
smote of them ^ about thirty and six men " (Josh. vii. 5). 

Because ( Achan) confessed ^ before the Name of the 
Holy One, blessed be He, he has a portion in the world to 
come, as it is said, " And Joshua said, Why hast thou 
troubled us ? ^ The Lord shall trouble thee this day " 
{ibid. 25). " This day " thou art troubled, but thou shalt 
not be troubled in the future world.'' 

Know thou the power of the ban. Come and see from 
the (story of) the tribes, who were zealous because of 
immorality against || the tribe of Benjamin.^" The Holy One, 
blessed be He, said to them : Ye are zealous because of 
the immorality, 11 and ye are not zealous because of the 
image of Micah. Therefore the Benjamites slew some of 
them a first and a second i- and a third time, until they 
went 1^ before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord seeking 

' See Josh. vii. 24. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 
The latter add after the quotation : " If so, for what reason did 
these (children) die ? " 

» See supra, p. ::q4. for the view of Rabbi ' Akiba on this point. 

* See Targum, Josh. vii. 24 f. Rashi, Gersonides, and other Jewish 
commentators maintain that the stoning was inflicted only on the beasts, 
and that Achan's children were there merely to see and to be warned. 

' Achan. 

' In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

'' See Josh. vii. 20. 

'* Thus far is the quotation in the MS. ; this part of the verse is 
omitted in the first editions. 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, loc. cit., and J.E. i. 164 f. ; cf. also Num. Rab. 
xxiii. i>, and Semachoth, ii. 

1" See T.B. Synhedrin, 103b ; Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xi. pp. 56 f. ; 
and cf. T.B. Baba Bathra, 109b. 

" The first editions add : " of the tribe of Benjamin." 

'* This reading agrees with Jalkut, Judt;. § yd. 

*' The first editions add : " and fell upon their faces to the ground." 
See Jalt:ut, Joshua, § 18. Cf. Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xviii. p. 89. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 297 

repentance, and they were forgiven. They decreed ^ that 
all Israel should (make peace) with them,- and they re- 
pented 2 both old and young, as it is said, " For they 
made a great oath"* concerning him that came not 
up unto the Lord to Mizpah " (Judg. xxi. 5). Did all 
Israel take an oath ? But the ban is the same as the 
oath. 

The men of Jabesh-Gilead neither went up nor did they 
go with them in the assembly, and they incurred (the 
penalty of) death, as it is said, " Concerning him that 
came not up ^ unto the Lord to Mizpah, saying. He shall 
surely be put to death " (ibid.). 

Know thou the power of the ban. Come and see from 
(the story of) Saul, the son of Kish, who decreed that all 
people, both young and old, should fast, as it is said, 
" Cursed be the man that eateth any food ^ until it be 
evening " (1 Sam. xiv. 24). Jonathan did not hear (of 
this), and ate a little honey,^ and his eyes were enlightened,^ 
as it is said, " And his eyes^ were enlightened" {ibid. 27). 
Saul saw the Philistines returning against Israel,^ and he 
knew that Israel had trespassed in the matter of the ban. 
He looked at the twelve stones ; ^° for each tribe which 
performed one of the precepts had its stone || (on the High 
Priest's breast-plate) shining with its light, and each tribe 
which transgressed, the light of its stone was dim.^^ He 
knew that the tribe of Benjamin had trespassed in the 

1 Lit. " They issued the ban " (against all who disobeyed). 

* The first edition has the same reading here as our MS. The 
Venice edition reads : " all Israel should go up after them." 

* The first editions read : " and the}' made an oath." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 

* The MS. omits " unto the Lord to Mizpah " and reads instead 
" into the assembly." The first editions omit the word " saying." 
This omission in both texts is a probable indication of the dependence 
of the 2nd ed. on the ist. 

* SeeMidrash Samuel, in loc, and T.B. Berakhoth, 14a. Jalkut on 
Samuel, in loc, seems to be based on our Midrash. 

' According to Luria's emendation we should read " both his eyes." 
8 The MS. and the first editions read " both his eyes." ' M.T. 
omits " both." See T.B. Joma, 83a. 

* See Tanchuma, Vayesheb, loc. cif., which reads : " Saul saw that the 
Philistines were prevailing over the Israelites" ; the Jalkut, in loc, reads : 
"The Philistines were strengthening themselves against Israel." 

1" The first editions read^ " He looked at the twelve tribes." Perhaps 
we should read : " He looked at the twelve stones of the tribes." 
1^ See supra, p. 295, note 6. 



298 RABBI ELIEZER 

matter of the ban. He cast lots^ concerning Benjamin, 
and Saul and Jonathan were taken, as it is said, " And 
Jonathan- and Saul* were taken" {ibid. 41). Saul took 
his sword to slay his son, as it is said, " God do so,"* and 
more also : for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan " {ibid. 44). 
The people said to him : Our lord king ! It is an error. 
They brought on his behalf a sacrifice of a burnt offering 
for his error, and He was entreated of him, and they saved 
him from an evil death, as it is said, " So the people 
rescued Jonathan, that he died not" {ibid. 45).* 

The Cutheans ^ are not considered as a nation " of the 
seventy languages, but they were the remnant of the five 
nations precious to the king,*' as it is said, " And the king 
of Assyria brought^ men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, 
and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and 
placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children 
of Israel " (2 Kings xvii. 24). 

Rabbi Jose said : He added four more nations to them, 
and they were in all nine nations,^" as it is said, " The 
Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites,^i the Tarpelites, the 
Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushan- 

* The method of procedure was as follows : The tribe concerned 
was indicated by the stone of that tribe on the breastplate. Then lots 
were cast to determine the family (see i Sam. xiv. 36-4.2), and finally 
the members of the family were placed before the Ark of the Covenant, 
which caused the transgressor to become paralysed. See Kimchi, on 
Josh. vii. 1 8, and cf. J.E. xii. 385 ff. 

^ In this and the next two quotations our MS. reads " Jehonathan." 
M.T. has " Jonathan." 

^ Our MS. and the first editions read : " Saul and Jonathan." M.T. 
reads : " Jonathan and Saul. 

* The MS. and the first editions add " to me." This is not in M.T. 
The variant readings of Biblical texts preserved by our MS. are note- 
worthy. 

* See Pal. Targum and Nachmanides on Lev. xxvii. 29. See 
also Targum on i Sam., in loc. 

' Or Samaritans. In Talmudic times were proselytes accepted 
from among the Samaritans ? 

' i.e. one of the seventy nations. For a parallel view see Ecclus. 
1. 26. 

* See Tanchuma, Vayesheb, loc. cit., which reads : " They were the 
remnant of the five nations whom the king of Assj'ria led captive, as 
it is said : etc." 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. ; the first editions add 
" from Cuthah," and omit " from Babylon," which is the reading 
of M.T. 

'" On these nine nations see Seder'Olam Rab. xxii. (end), p. 50a, note 
40, and Bacher, T. ii. 189. 5. 

*• The quotation ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 299 

chites, the Dehaites, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations 
. . . set in the city of Samaria" (Ezra iv. 9, 10). 

And when the IsraeUtes were exiled ^ from Samaria to 
Babylon, the king sent his servants, and he caused them to 
dwell in Samaria, to raise tribute for (his) kingdom. What 
did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He sent hons among 
them, II which killed some of them, as it is said, " And so 
it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there,^ that they 
feared not the Lord : therefore the Lord sent lions among 
them, which killed some of them " (2 Kings xvii. 25).^ They 
sent to the king,^ saying : Our lord, the king ! The land 
whither thou hast sent us will not receive us, for we are 
left but a few out of many.^ The king sent and called for 
all the elders of Israel, and said to them : All those years 
during which ye were in your land, the beasts of the field 
did not bereave you, and now it will not receive my servants. 
They gave him a word of advice, (thinking) perhaps he 
would restore them to their land. They said to him : 
Our lord, O king! That land does not receive a nation 
who do not study the Torah; behold, that land does not 
receive a nation who are not circumcised.^ The king said 
to them : Give me two of you, who shall go and circumcise 
them and teach them the book of the Torah ; and there 
is no refusal to the word of the king. They sent Rabbi 
Dosethai' of the Court-House,^ and Rabbi Micaiah,^ 
and they circumcised them, and they taught them 
the book of the Torah in the Notarikon i" script, and 

^ The first editions add : " from their place." 

2 In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

* See T.B. Taanith, 22b, and cf. Rashi, in loc. 

* The first editions read : " king of Babylon." The Bible speaks 
here of the king of Assyria. 

* See Jalkut, 2 Kings, § 234. 

* The first editions omit the words : " That land does not receive 
a nation who do not study the Torah." Tanchuma, Vayesheb, loc. cit., 
and Jalkut, loc. cit., read : " Because they do not study the Torah." 

' On Dosethai see Krauss' article in J.E. iv. 643 f. Bacher, T. ii. 
385-7, considers that the name was probably suggested by its similarity 
to that of the Samaritan sect of the Dositheaus. 

8 The MS. reads " Bedayng " ; cf. Beth Din, and Jastrow, T.D. 140a. 

* This name occurs only in our MS. The same name occurs in Neh. 
xii. 35. The first editions read " Zechariah." Krauss, loc. cit., seems 
to identify Zechariah with Sabbaeus (n"3D, as in Tanchuma). 

*•* On Notarikon (shorthand) see J.E. xi. 339 f., where a reference 
to P.R.E. is made ; see Krauss' article in R.^.J. xlii. p. 29, note i, and 
Bacher, Terminologie, i. 125. 



300 RABBI ELIEZER 

they ^ wept. Those nations followed the statutes of the 
Torah, and they served (also) their own gods.^ 

When Ezra came up ^ (with) Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, 
and Jcshua, || son of Jehozadak, they began to build ^ 
the Temple of the Lord, as it is said, "Then rose up 
Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,^ and Jeshua, the son of 
Jozadak, and began to build the house of God" (Ezra v. 2). 
And the Samaritans came against them to fight (with) 
180,000 (men).'' Were they Samaritans? Were they not 
Cutheans ? ^ But they were called Samaritans because 
of the city of Samaria. And further, they sought to kill 
Nehemiah, as it is said, "Come, let us^ meet together^ 
in one of the villages, . . . but they thought to do me 
mischief" (Neh. vi. 2). Moreover, they made the work ^" 
of the Lord to cease ^^ for two years ^^ [" Then ceased the 
work of the house of God, which is at Jerusalem] ; ^^ and it 

^ The two Rabbis who foresaw the troubles destined to come from 
the Samaritans. Krauss, loc. cit., suggests that d':i3i, "and they 
wept," should read dwdi, "and Samaritan" (writing); see Bacher, in 
Monatsschrijt, xl. 19. The Karaites employed Notarikon, which was 
known to the Samaritans (cf. At. BSh, v"z n"x). 

2 The first editions add here : " As it is said : ' They feared the 
Lord, and served their own gods ' " (2 Kings xvii. 33). 

^ The first editions add : " from Babylon." 

* The MS. reads " Bokhim " (weeping) ; this agrees with Tanchuma 
and the first editions. It seems probable that the original reading was 
" Bonim" (building) ; this reading is preserved in Jalkut, loc. cit. 

* In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

* This number as the unit for war is derived from i Kings xii. 
21 ; see also 2 Kings xix. 35 ; and T.B. Synhedrin, 95b. 

' The Dositheans flourished in Egypt, so much so that the Christian 
patriarch of Alexandria engaged in polemics against them. The 
Samaritans were divided into two sects : (i) that of the Kushan 
(Cuthim) and (2) that of the Dostan (Dositheans). See also Josephus, 
Ant. ix. 14. 3. The subject has been dealt with by Drusius in Trig- 
land's Tnum scriptorimi tllustrium de tribus Judceorum sectis syntagma, 
i. 283. See also Montgomery, The Samaritan':, pp. 254 ff. 

* i.e. Sanballat and Geshem the Arabian ; see Neh. iv. 7 ff. and vi. 
Iff. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions " in one 
of the villages " is added. 

1" i.e. the rebuilding of the Temple. The first editions read : " the 
heavenlv work " ; for the expression see T.B. Taanith, 23a. 

" Lit. " annulled." 

12 The Venice edition reads : " as it is said : ' And it shall be . . . until 
the year of Jubilee ' " (cf. Lev. xxv. 50) ; so also in the finst edition, 
which omits " as it is said." In our MS. the portion in brackets is not 
given. 

" See Jalkut on Kings, loc. cit., and Tanchuma, Vayesheb, lo:. at.. 
for this reading ; see also Gen. Rab. xciv. 9 ; Seder 'Olam Rab. xxix. 
p. 67b; T.B. Megillah, nb. 



JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN 301 

ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius, king of 
Persia " (Ezra iv. 24). 

What did Ezra, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua 
son of Jehozadak, do ? ^ They gathered all the congrega- 
tion to the Temple of the Lord, and they brought 300 
priests, 300 children,^ and 300 scrolls of the Torah in their 
hands, ^ and they blew* (the trumpets), and the Levites 
sang songs and praises, and they excommunicated the 
Cutheans with the mystery of the Ineffable Name, and with 
the script such as was written upon the tables (of the Law), 
and by the ban of the heavenly Court of Justice, and by 
the ban of the earthly Court of Justice (decreeing) that no 
one of Israel should eat the bread of the Cutheans.^ Hence 
(the sages) said : Everyone who eats the bread ^ of the 
Cutheans is as though he had eaten of the flesh of swine.' 
Let no man make a proselyte in Israel from among the 
Cutheans. ^^ They have no || portion in the resurrection of 

^ See Ezra iv. 3. 

'^ The first editions add " 300 trumpets." Shophar is the term here 
for " trumpet." 

' i.e. the children's hands ; see Sopherim iii. 18. 

* According to Jalkut, loc. cit., the trumpets were in the hands of the 
priests. 

° See T.B. 'Abodah Zarah, 35b and 38a, and Jubilees xxii. 16. The 
first editions add " for ever." 

^ The first editions read " the meat." 

^ See INIishnah Shebi'ith viii. 10 ; and cf. Tosaphoth Gittin, loa, and 
T.B. Chullin, 4a. 

* On proselvtes see J.E. x. pp. 220 ff. and R.i^.J. xii. p. 3 1 8. The form 
of the ban, and the prohibition of eating the bread of the Samaritans, have 
been exhaustively considered by Dr. Biichler in R.^.J. xliii. pp. 50 fi., 
where the following results are stated: (i) The form of the ban and 
its accompanying circumstances — (a) children as witnesses, {b) scrolls of 
law to sanctify the pronouncement, and (c) sounding of the Shofar — 
tally with the practice known to the Geonim of Babylon in the ninth 
century {e.g. Paltoi ; seeChemdah Genuzah, No. xxii., and cf.'Arukh, s.v. 
non, iii. 229a; see also Hekhaloth Rab., ed. Jellinek, B.H.M. iii. p. 84). 
The prohibition of eating the bread of the Samaritans mentioned by 
our author does not find any support in the Talmudic literature (see 
T.J. Shebi'ith vii. 38b, line 69), but is " an institution of the Geonic age " 
(p. 64). The decree says that Samaritans could not be received as 
proselytes. Where the texts of the Talmud speak of 'no, " Samaritan," 
we have probably to read 'idj. There was a sect who were put on 
this footing by the Gaon Natronai (Teshuboth Ha-Geonim, Sha'are 
Zedek, p. 24a, Nos. 7 and 27). The Halakiioth Gedoloth (ed.Hildesheimer. 
443) states that " Cutheans, Seboneans, and Samaritans are not to be 
received as proselytes." This again appears in the Tanna de be 
Elijahu Zutta (p. 169). The Karaites in the ninth century mutilated 
the Bible text, and in their reading agreed with the Samaritans (p. 67). 
In other words the literature of the Samaritans of the ninth century 



302 RABBI ELIEZER 

the dead,^ as it is said, " Ye have nothing to do with 
us 2 to build an house unto our God " {ibid. 3), neither in 
this world, nor in the world to come. So that they should 
have neither portion nor inheritance in Israel, ^ as it is 
said, " But ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, 
in Jerusalem " * (Neh. ii. 20). 

They sent the ban (letter) to the Israelites who were 
in Babylon. Moreover, they added an additional ban 
upon them, and King Cyrus ordained it as a perpetual 
ban upon them, (as it is said,)^ "And the God that hath 
caused his name to dwell there "^ overthrow all kings and 
peoples that shall put forth their hand to alter the same, 
to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I, 
Darius, have made a decree ; let it be done with all 
diligence " (Ezra vi. 12). 

exercised a baneful influence in creating sects opposed to orthodox 
Judaism. Hence the ban against them. Moreover, the word for ban 
(cnn) docs not occur in the Talmud (B. Shcbuoth, 35b-36a), but is 
common in the Gconic period. On the oath or ban see Eth. Enoch vi. 
4 ff., where Mount Hermon is mentioned ; Dr. Bijchler sees here a refer- 
ence to D-.n. Is there any connection, he asks, between Enoch and our 
book here ? That Jubilees was known to the Geonim has been shown 
by Epstein, nnin'n nvjioipo, page vii, and also the fact that many of the 
characteristics of the Enoch literature have their parallels in the Geonic 
literature (see Z.D.M.G. vii. (1853) p. 249) has been established. 

* The Dositheans, like the Sadducees, denied the future life. The 
question as to a future life would not have arisen in the time of Ezra. 
See Mishnah Synhedrin x. i and the Baraitha in T.B. Synhedrin, 90a, 
where, however, heretics only are referred to, and not Samaritans. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ The first editions read " Jerusalem." 

4 The MS. reads " Israel" ; M.T. has " Jerusalem." Is the M.T. 
purposely altered so as to justify the decree that no one in Israel 
is to receive a Cuthean as a proselyte ? 

' " As it is said " is wanting in the MS. ; it occurs in the first editions. 

' In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. Our 
MS. and the first editions read " tamman " (there), whereas M.T. has 
" tammah." The meaning is, of course, identical. 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

JOSEPH IN EGYPT [53b. ii.] 

The fourth descent was (when) He descended into Egypt, 
(as it is said)/ " I will go down with thee into Egypt " 
(Gen xlvi. 4). Jacob heard concerning Joseph that he was 
living, and he was thinking in his heart, saying : Can I 
forsake the land of my fathers, the land of my birth, the land 
of the sojournings of my fathers, ^ the land where the Shekh- 
inah of the Holy One, blessed be He, is in its midst, and 
shall I go to an unclean land in their midst,^ for there is no 
fear of Heaven therein ? ^ The Holy One, blessed be He, 
said to him : Jacob, do not fear ; "I will go down with thee 
into Egypt,^ and I will also surely bring thee up again " 
(ibid.). 

Jacob heard this word, and he took his ^ wives, ^ and his 
sons, and his daughters, and the daughters of his sons.^ 
Another Scripture says, " With his daughter Dinah " 

^ " As it is said " is omitted by the MS. ; it occurs in the first editions 
and in the Oxford MS. and in MS. Gaster. 

* This clause occurs in our MS. only. 

* The Oxford MS. reads: "among slaves, in the midst of the 
children of Ham, where there is no fear of Heaven among them." The 
first editions and MS. Gaster read : " among slaves, the children of Ham, 
in a land where there is no fear of Heaven in their midst." 

* Cf. Gen. XX. ii. 

^ The quotation ends here in the MSS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

* Should the reading be : " their wives " ? Did any of Jacob's 
wives go down into Egypt ? 

' See Gen. Rab. xciv. 6 ; Pal. Targum on Gen. xlvi. 5 ; and cf. Jalkut, 
Gen. § 152. 

* The Oxford MS. adds : " And he brought them down to Egypt, 
as it is said, ' His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters ' " 
(Gen. xlvi. 7). The first editions agree with this reading except in 
the first words ; their reading is : " And he made them come, as it is 
said." In our MS. there is considerable confusion owing to the careless- 
ness of the scribe who has repeated the text Gen. xlvi. 15. 

303 



304 RABBI ELTEZER 

(ibid. 15). And all that he had, and he brought *igm to 
Egypt, as it is said, "His sons, and his sons' son: || with 
him," ete. {ibid. 7). Another Sci'ipture says, " With his 
daughter, Dinah " {ibid. 15). Whereas another text says, " His 
daughters " {ibid. 7), to teach thee that the daughters of 
Jaeob were the wives of his sons.^ And all the seed of Jaeob - 
married their sisters and their blood-relations, so that they 
should not intermarry with the people of the lands, therefore 
they were called a true seed, as it is said, " Yet I had planted 
thee a noble vine,^ wholly a true seed " (Jer. ii. 21). 

When they came to the border of Egypt,* all the males 
were enrolled (in genealogical lists to the number of) sixty-six, 
Joseph with his two sons in Egypt (made the total) sixty- 
nine.^ And it is written, " With seventy persons ^ thy 
fathers went down into Egypt " (Deut. x. 22).' What did 
the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He entered ^ into the 
number with them, and the total became seventy, to fulfil 
that which is said, " I will go down with thee ^ into Egypt " 
(Gen. xlvi. 4). When Israel came up from Egypt all the 
mighty men were enrolled, (amounting to) 600,000, less one. 
What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He entered ^ 
into the number with them, and their total amounted to 
600,000, to fulfil that which is said, " I will go down with 
thee into Egypt,i° and I will also surely bring thee up 
again " {ibid.). 

Rabbi Ishmael said : Ten times " did the sons of Jacob 

1 Cf. supra, p. Z72 ; Gen. Rab. Ixxxiv. 21. 

- Oxford MS. reads : " Hence thou mayest learn that all the seed 
of Israel," etc. 

3 The MS. omits the first part of the quotation, and incorrectly 
reads " Ke " (for), which should be " Knllo " (wholly). The verse is 
accurately quoted in the Oxford MS. and in the first editions. 

* Oxford MS. reads : " When Jacob came to Egypt." 

* The Oxford MS. agrees with our MS. ; the "first editions read : 
" seventy less one." 

* The first part of the quotation is given by our MS. ; the first 
editions, as well as the Oxford MS., continue the verse. 

' See T.B. Baba Bathra, 123a; Gen. Rab. xciv. 9. The seventieth 
person was Jochebed. 

* Luria adds : " If one may say so." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

>" Our MS. omits the first part of the quotation, which is given in 
the first editions. 

" It was only five times really, but as Joseph employed an inter- 
preter the expression was repeated. On the age of the Patriarchs 
see T.B. Berakhoth, 55a; T.B. Sotah, 13b; and R. Bechai on Ex. 



JOSEPH IN EGYPT 305 

say to Joseph, " thy servant, our father." Joseph heard the 
word, and was silent. Silence gives consent ; therefore 
were ten years deducted from his life.^ Joseph heard || that 
his father had come to the border - of Egypt, and he took all 
the men who had intercourse with him,^ and he went to meet 
his father. All the people go forth to meet the king, but 
the king does not go forth to meet any man. But this 
teaches thee that the father of a man is like his kinsr. 

Rabbi Phineas said : The Holy Spirit ^ rested on Joseph 
from his youth ; ^ and it led him in all matters of wisdom like 
a shepherd who leads his flock, as it is said, " Give ear, O 
Shepherd of Israel,^ thou that leadest Joseph Hkc a flock, 
thou that sittest upon the cherubim " (Ps. Ixxx. 1). In all 
his wisdom a certain woman ^ enticed^ (him), and when he 
wished to accustom himself to sin,^ he saw the image i° of 
his father, and repented concerning it.^^ 

Three people conquered their passion ^^ before their 
Creator, and they were Joseph, Boaz, and Palte, son of Laish. 
It was fit that twelve tribes should have arisen from 
Joseph,i3 as it is said, " And the seed of his hands was active " 

(beg.), who quotes the Midrash Tadsheh. Test. Joseph ii. 7 refers to 
the ten temptations of Joseph. 

1 Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten years. The full Hfe 
of man is a hundred and twenty years. 

^ i.e. Goshen. 

3 Luria suggests that the reading should be : " who were with him." 

* See Test. Joseph vi. 7 : " The God of my fathers and the angel 
of Abraham be with me, "and cf. Wisdom x. 13 f 

^ The first editions add : " until the day of his death." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

' The first editions read : " the wife of Potiphera." 

* See T.B. Chullin, 4b, and Siphre, Deut. § 87, on " enticement." 
» See T.B. Sabbath, 49b, and T.B. Sotah, 36b. 

ioi3pvT = pp'x ielKuiv), image, likeness ;' see T.B. Sotah, loc. cit.; cf. 
Jubilees xxxix. 6, 7; Gen. Rab. Ixxxvii. 7; Rabbinic Philosophy and 
Ethics, p. no; Midrash Samuel v. ; jalkut, Gen. § 146, quoting Midrash 
Abkhir ; see also Schapiro, op. cit., p. 41, and Griinbaum, op. cit. pp. 
148 ff., and J.E. vii. 249. 

" The first editions add : " And he conquered his passion." See 
Test. Joseph ii. 2 ff. 

*2 See T.B. Synhedrin, 19b, and Midrash Haggadol, c. 5S5. We 
have a play here on the word " Jezer " — ]i^v 'ish ps' ; cf. T.B. Berakhoth. 
6ia. 

'» This is based on T.B. Sotah, loc. cit. Our MS. has a mutilated 
text. The first editions add here : " The seed of ten tribes exuded 
from the tips of his fingers (eupheniistic expression for membrum), as 
it is said: 'And the seed of his hands was active' (Gen. xlix. 24), and 
there remained these two (tribes), Manasseh and Ephraim." The R.V. 
reads : " The arms of his hands." See Coptic Apoc, p. 279. 

20 



306 RABBI ELIEZER 

(Gen. xlix. 24), but there remained two (tribes), Manasseh 
and Ephraim. The woman brought grave charges against 
him to vex him, and he was confined in prison ^ for ten years. 
There he interpreted the dreams of the servants of Pharaoh, 
(he interpreted for) each one according to his dream just as 
though the events were taking place before him, as it is said, 
" And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was " 
(ibid. xH. 13). 

And he interpreted the dream of |1 Pharaoh when the Holy 
Spirit rested upon him, as it is said, " And Pharaoh said 
unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this,^ a man in 
whom the spirit of God is ? " {ibid. 38). 

All the nations came to Joseph to purchase food from 
Joseph. And Joseph spoke to each people according to their 
different tongue. And he knew what they were speaking. 
Therefore his name was called Jehoseph,^ as it is said, 
" For Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter 
between them " * {ibid, xlii. 23). 

Moreover, when he went into the market-place he saw 
the people forming themselves into various companies and 
groups, and each one would speak in his own tongue, and he 
knew what they were saying,^ as it is said, " He appointed 
it in Joseph for a testimony,^ when he went out over the land 
of Egypt, when I heard the speech of one that I knew not " ' 

1 See Seder 'Olam Rab. ii. p. 6a, according to which he was in prison 
twelve years. This agrees with the Book of Jashar xhv. 14 and xlvi. 20 ; 
see also Ex. Rab. vii. i. One year was passed in the service of Potiphar ; 
and as he was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, he had 
spent thirteen years in Egypt, for he was seventeen years old when he 
was taken from'his brethren. See Jubilees xxxix. 8 for the year in the 
service of Potiphar, the eunuch. After two years the chief baker and 
butler are thrown into prison with Joseph ; and after ten years Pharaoh 
has his dreams, for " on the day that Joseph stood before Pharaoh he 
was thirty years old " {ibid. xl. ii). See Test. Joseph ii. 7-iii. i ff. On 
Joseph's chastity see Pal. Targum to Gen. xlix. 22, T.B. Sotah, loc. cit., 
and Test. Joseph (chs. iii.-vi.). 

- The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ The first editions read instead Turgoman, (i.e.) Dragoman, inter- 
preter = " Milez " of Gen. xlii. 23. On Turgoman see Jastrow, T.D. 1657. 

* The MS. reads " bethokham " (m their midst). This is not the 
reading of M.T. The section which now follows is printed in the first 
editions before the words : "all the nations came." 

' We had this phrase in the preceding paragraph. 

* In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

' The legend is based on T.B. Sotah, loc. cit., which is translated in 
Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 103 f. 



JOSEPH IN EGYPT 307 

(Ps. Ixxxi. 5). Further, when he was riding in the chariot, 
and passed through all the borders of the land of Egypt, the 
Egyptian girls were climbing ^ up the walls for his sake, and 
they threw to him rings of gold, so that perchance he might 
look at them, and (they could) see the beauty of his - figure, 
but nobody's eye degraded ^ him, for he was highly esteemed * 
in the eyes of everyone, as it is said, " Joseph is a fruitful 
bough ^ . . . his daughters run over the wall " (Gen. xlix. 
22).« 

All the nations came to purchase food. And they brought 
to Joseph their tribute (and) a present (and money) to pur- 
chase (food). And he spoke to each people according to their 
different tongue; || therefore was his name called Turgcman,' 
as it is said, " For there was an interpreter between them " ^ 
{ibid. xlii. 23), therefore was he speaking.^ 

Some of them were buying grain on account of the famine 
in their houses, and they went forth, and others came to buy 
food ; and one asked his fellow as to the price in the market. 
From their reply they opened the price of the market.^" 
When they came to Joseph he said to them : Just as ye 
have heard, so it is ; in order that the market should not be 
scarce (and prices dear). Hence (the sages) said : He who 
makes a corner in the market will never see a sign of blessing.^^ 

i"Mezadoth"; see Targumim on Gen. xlix. 22, and Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 122 f., where the parallel version of the 
legend from the Midrash Haggadol is translated. 

^ The first editions read : " and see them and the beauty of their 
figure." 

3 The word insTB' (" degraded ") recalls Cant. i. 6 and Job xxviii. 7. 

* Lit. " fruitful and increasing." 

^ The expression " a fniitful bough" is expanded by our author. There 
is a play upon the word " Porath." The legend is based on T.B. Sotah, 
loc. cit., which is translated in Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 103 f . 

* See Pal. Targum on this verse. Here, again, we have a play on 
the word " Za'adah " {" run "). This word is identified with " Az'adah " 
(Num. xxxi. 50), " chains," hence the " rings " of our Midrash. 

' This entire paragraph is practically a repetition of what has gone 
before. See notes on previous two paragraphs. 

* The MS. quotes the correct reading here, according to M.T. 

^ The point is in the name Turgeman, which means " interpreter," 
i.e. Joseph. The verse Gen. xlii. 23 therefore means : For there was 
Joseph (an interpreter) between them. 

*" This sentence occurs in our MS. only. It might be rendered : 
From their reply they revealed the price of the merchandise. Joseph 
did not wish to make a corner in the market, neither did he wish the 
price to fall. 

" See T.B. Taanith, loa ; T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 6oa ; T.B. Megillah, 
17b. The scarcity in the market would involve a sudden rise in the 



308 RABBI ELIE2ER 

Rabbi Tanchum ^ said : Joseph commanded and they 
built the treasure-houses in each city, and he gathered all 
the produce of the lands into the treasure-houses. The 
Egyptians were scoffing at him, saying: Now the worms will 
eat the stores of Joseph. But no worm had any power over 
them ; neither did the (stores) diminish imtil the day of his 
death.- And he supported ^ the land in the famine of bread, 
therefore was his name called Kalkol.^ And Kalkol is 
Joseph, as it is said, " And Joseph nourished " ^ {ibid. 
xlvii. 12). Moreover, he nourished his father, and his 
brethren, and all his father's house, in the famine with bread 
to their satisfaction. " And Joseph nourished his father, 
and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, 
according to their families " (ibid.).'^ || 

Rabbi Eliezer said : In the hour of the death of Jacob 
he called to his son Joseph, and said to him : O my son ! 
Swear to me by the covenant of circumcision that thou wilt 
take me up to the burial-place of my fathers in the land of 
Canaan to the Cave of Machpelah. The ' ancients used to 
swear by the covenant of circumcision prior to the giving of 
the Torah, as it is said, " Put, I pray thee, thy hand under 
my thigh " {ibid. 29), and " he sware unto him " {ibid. 31). 
He kept (the oath) and did (accordingly), as it is said, " And 
he said, Swear unto me " {ibid.). And all the mighty men 

market prices. See also T.B. Baba Bathra, gob; Derekh Erez Rabba 
ii., and Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xv. p. 73. 

1 A Palestinian Amora of the third century. His name is mentioned 
again in Chapter XLIX. p. 392 ; see Bacher, P. iii. 627 ff., and J.E. 
xii. pp. 42 f. 

2 See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 40a. Luria thinks that the word non 
(diminish) should be corrected so as to read imo (they became 
foul), by analogy with the Manna ; see Ex. xvi. 20. Perhaps we should 
retain the reading " diminish " by analogy with the barrel of meal 
mentioned in i Kings xvii. 14 ff. On the question as to whether 
there was a famine after Jacob's death see Siphre, Dl ut. !; 38, and Nach- 
manidcs on Gen. xlvii. iS. 

^ In spite of supporting the land, the stores did not diminish. 

* See Lev. Rab. ix. i, Eccles. Rab. to Kccles. vii. 23. " Kalkol " is 
based on i Kings iv. 31. " Kalkol " is referred to Joseph, about whom 
the text says, " Vayekhalkel," " and Joseph nourished " (Gen. xlvii. 12) ; 
see T.B. Synhedrin, 44b. This explanation of our book is also given by 
Jerome, Comm. in loc. (ed. Vail. iii. 850, quoted by Griinbaum, op. cit. 
p. 28). 

° See also i Chron. n. 6. 

* This paragraph occurs in our MS. only ; " as it is said " is omitted 
before the quotation. 

' The first editions read : " Originally the ancients," etc. 



JOSEPH IN EGYPT 309 

of the kingdom went up with him to bury him, and to show 
loving-kindness to Jacob his father, as it is said, " And 
Joseph went up to bury his father " {ibid. 1. 7). The camp 
of Israel numbered 5040 (people). All the (people of the) 
land were bringing food on account of the famine to the camp 
of Josejih.i The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them : 
Ye have shown loving-kindness "^ to Jacob, My servant, I also 
will give you your reward, and also unto your children in 
this world. When the Egyptians died in the Reed Sea they 
did not die in the water,^ but they were deemed worthy to be 
buried in the earth. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to 
them : Ye have submitted yourselves * to the divine punish- 
ment ; I also will give you a place of burial, as it is said, 
" Thou stretchedst forth thy right hand, the earth swallowed 
them " (Ex. xv. 12).5 

I V When they came to the Cave of Machpelah, Esau came 
against them || from Mount Horeb ^ to stir up strife,^ saying : 
The Cave of Machpelah is mine.^ What did Joseph do ? 
He sent Naphtali to subdue the constellations,^ and to go 
down to Egypt to bring up the perpetual deed which was 
between them,^" therefore it is said, " Naphtali is a hind 
let loose " (Gen. xlix. 21). Chushim, the son of Dan, had 
defective hearing and speech,^^ and he said to them : Why are 

1 " All the people, who were taking food home on account of the 
famine, were in the camp of Joseph." This is the emended reading 
suggested by Luria. The people of Canaan were there to pay respect to 
Jacob ; see Gen. 1. ii ; according to Gen. Rab., in loc, and Tanchuma, 
Vayechi, §xvii., even the kings of Canaan joined in this mark of respect. 

2 See supra, Chapter XVII. 

^ See infra, p. 332. The first editions read : " they did not remain 
in the water." 

* Pharaoh said : " The Lord is righteous, but I and my people 
are evil" (Ex. ix. 27); see Mekhilta, Beshallach, Proem, 33b; and 
cf. T.B. Pesachim, ii8a. 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 1691., where the passage 
from the Mekhilta (referred to in the previous note) is translated. 

* The first editions read : " Esau came against them from Mount 
Seir." See also Wisdom x. 12. 

^ The expression is based on Prov. xxvi. 17. 

8 See T.B. Sotah, 13a ; this passage is translated in Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 125 ff. 

» " To hasten Uke a hind." This is Luria's emendation. On Naphtali's 
fleetness see Gen. xlix. 21, T.B. Sotah, loc. cit. ; and cf. Test. Naph. ii. i. 

^^ Jacob and Esau ; see supra, p. 290. The Prague and Brode's 
editions read " in their hand " instead of " between them." 

" See the Book of Jashar, ch. Ivi., for a parallel account of the 
legend, which practically agrees with P.R.E. According to Charles 
the legend in the Book of Jashar " has borrowed its materials from the 



310 RABBI ELIEZER 

we sitting here ? He was pointing (to Esau) with his finger. 
They said to him : Because this man will not let us l)ury our 
father Jacob. Wiiat did he do ? He drew his sword and 
cut off Esau's head with the sword, and took the head into 
the Cave of Machpelah. And they sent his body to the land 
of his possession, to Mount Seir. 

What did Isaac do ? He grasped the head of Esau and 
prayed before the Holy One, blessed be He, and said : 
Sovereign of all the universe ! Let mercy be shown ^ to this 

Midrash in Josippon " ; sec Jubilees, ed. Charles, p. 215, note. Charles 
refers to Bousset, Z.f.N.T. Wissensch., 1900, p. 205. In this con- 
nection the legend of the wars between the sons of Jacob and Esau 
with his sons in Jubilees xxxvii., xxxviii., the Testament of Judah 
(Test. XII Pat.) ix., and Jerahmeel, pp. 80-87, inust be considered 
very briefly. According to Charles, " the oldest form of the legend 
is found in Jubilees and in the Test. Jud. ix. ; the next oldest is the 
Jalkut and Chronicles of Jerahmeel, and the latest is the Book of 
Jashar" {Jubilees, p. 215). The account in the Book of Jashar con- 
tains two parts : (i) the death of Esau by the hands of Chushim, 
son of Dan, at the burial of Jacob. This part of the legend is taken 
directly from our book, which was also the source used by Pal. Targum 
on Gen. 1. 13. The source of our Midrash was T.B. Sotah, loc. c\t. 
Then (2) the account of the wars between the sons of Esau and the 
sons of Jacob which the Book of Jashar gives is undoubtedly con- 
nected with the account of Zepho, son of Eliphas, and .-Eneas of Africa, 
given in the history of Josippon. Now the Chronicles of Jerahmeel 
agree with the Book of Jubilees in making Jacob the slayer of his 
brother Esau, and they agree in fixing the occasion of the conflict at 
the mourning for Leah. According to Beer, Das liuch der Jubilden, 
pp. 4 ff., the original form of the legend was that Judah slew Esau at the 
burial of Isaac. The death of Esau at the hands of Judah is men- 
tioned in T.J. Kethuboth i. 5 (p. 25c) ; T.J. Gittin v. 6 (p. 47.1) ; Siphre, 
Deut. § 348 ; Shocher Tob, Ps. xviii. 40 (sect. 32) ; see also Jalkut, 
Gen. § 162 ; and Jalkut, Samuel, § 163. The later form of the legend is 
preserved in T.B. Sotah, loc. cit., which attributes the death of Esau to 
Chushim, who was deaf and dumb, at the burial of Jacob. Jalkut, Gen. 
loc. cit., combines both forms of the legend. Jalkut, Pss. § 776, agrees 
with our book in the details of the death of Esau. B er draws atten- 
tion to the fact that the Jews of Palestine in the time of Hadrian 
(c. 135 c.E.) attributed the fierce hatred on the part of the Romans 
to the belief that Judah, the forefather of the Jews, had slain Esau, 
the forefather of the Romans, who were identified with the Edomites 
descended from Esau. In order to remove the " historical " foundation 
for this hostility, later forms of the legend transferred the deed to an 
irresponsible person, Chushim, whose descendants, the tribe of Dan, had 
long since disappeared from the land of Israel, ha\'in!,' been carried away 
into exile, and, as some of the Rabbis taught, lost for all time. Jubilees 
holds to the original legend, owing to the opposition which it represents 
to the orthodox Rabbinic traditions of Palestine obtaining in the period 
prior to and following the rise of Christianity. Pirke de R. Eliczer is 
aware of the teaching of Jubilees, and tries to correct and refute it on 
all fundamental points of controversy. This is sometimes done as 
strikingly by omission as by a variant doctrine, or story. 
• The words are borrowed from Isa. xxvi. 10. 



JOSEPH IN EGYPT 311 

wicked one, for he had not learnt all the precepts of the 
Torah, as it is said, " Let favour be shewed to the wicked,^ 
yet will he not learn righteousness " (Isa. xxvi. 10). He was 
speaking in iniquity concerning the land of Israel and the 
Cave of Machpclah, as it is said, " In - the land of upright- 
ness will he deal wrongfully " (ibid.). 

The Holy Spirit answered him, saying: As I live! he 
shall not see the majesty of God.^ 

1 The MS. and the first editions omit the first part of the verse. 

2 Our MS. reads : " and in the land." This is not the reading in 
M.T. which is given by MS. Gaster. The reading in the Venice edition 
is also faulty. 

3 The first editions add here : "as it is said, ' And he will not 
behold the majesty of the Lord ' " (Isa. xxvi. lo). 



CHAPTER XL 

MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH [55a. ii.] 

The fifth descent ^ was when He came down to the thorn- 
bush, as it is said, " And I am come down || to dehver them 
out of the hand of the Egyptians " (Ex. iii. 8). He aban- 
doned the entire mountain,'- and descended into the thorn- 
bush, and He abode therein. And the thorn-bush was (an 
emblem of) grief and distress,^ and it was * full of thorns and 
thistles. Why did He abide in the midst of the thorn-bush 
which was (an emblem of) grief and distress ? Because 
He saw Israel in great grief and He also dwelt with them,^ 
thus fulfilling that which is said, "In all'' their affliction He 
was afflicted " (Isa. Ixiii. 9).' 

Rabbi Levi said : That rod ^ which was created in the 
twilight ^ was delivered to the first man ^° out of the garden 
of Eden. Adam delivered it to Enoch, and Enoch delivered 

^ See supra, p. 97, for the fourth descent. These "descents" are 
connecting Hnks in the narrative. This accounts for the apparent 
disorder in the chapters which now follow, for we have the " Revela- 
tion " in the thorn-bush and at Sinai before the narrative of the birth 
of Moses. On the " descent " see Pal. Targum, Ex. iii. 8. 

- i.e. Sinai. 

3 See Tanchuina, Shemoth, § xiv. ; Jalkut, Pss. § S43. and Ex. Rab. 
ii. 5. 

* Luria reads : " The thorn bush was (full of) sorrow and distress 
because it was all thorns and thistles." 

' The Venice edition reads : " And He dwelt also with them in the 
midst of grief." 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, po. 144 f., note i on p. 145. 
^ Cf. T.B. Taanith, i6a. 

* See supra, p. 14, and cl. p. 124, and the Book of the Bee, pp. 24, 50. 
' On the first Sabbath eve in the Creation week, see references 

given in the previous note. 

»o See the Book of Jashar Ixxvii. ,^9 fl. The Jalkut, Ex. !;§ 168, 173, 
quotes this book hs " the Book of the Chronicles of Moses," according 
to which Adam took the rod from Eden when he was driven forth, 
at the time when the rod had been made ; he tilled the ground 
therewith. See also R.ii.J. Ixxviii. p. 130. 

319 



MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH 313 

it to Noah,^ and Noah [handed it on] ^ to Shem. Shem 
passed it on to Abraham, Abraham [transmitted it] ^ to 
Isaac, and Isaac [gave it over] ^ to Jacob,^ and Jacob 
brought it down into Egypt and passed it on to his son 
Joseph,"* and when Joseph died and they pillaged his household 
goods, it was placed in the palace of Pharaoh. And Jethro ^ 
was one of the magicians of Egypt, and he saw the rod and 
the letters which were upon it, and he desired in his heart 
(to have it), and he took it and brought it, and planted it ^ in 
the midst of the garden of his house.'' No one was able to 
approach it ^ any more. 

When Moses came to his house he went into the garden 
of Jethro's house, and saw the rod and read the letters ^ which 
were upon it, and he put forth his hand and took it. Jethro 
watched || Moses, and said : This one in the future will re- 
deem Israel from Egypt. Therefore he gave him Zipporah 
his daughter to wife, as it is said, " And Moses was content 
to dwell with the man ; i" and he gave Moses Zipporah, his 
daughter " (Ex. ii. 21). 

1 Should this be : " Enoch handed it to Methuselah, and Methuselah 
handed it to Noah " ? See supra, p. 53. 

2 The first editions have the words in brackets ; the MS. omits same. 

3 Jalkut, Ex. § 168, and the Book of Jashar Ixxvii. 4(1 agree that Jacob 
received it when he fled to Paddan-Aram. He declares : " For with 
my staff I passed over this Jordan" (Gen. xxxii. 10). See Gen. Rab. 
Ixxvi. 5, and Agadath Bereshith on this verse. The rod divided the 
Jordan for Jacob and the Reed Sea for Moses and Israel ; see Jalkut, 
Num. § 703. The rod passed on to David and his successors, and will 
belong to the Messiah. 

* See the Book of Jashar, loc. cit. ; and cf. Ezek. xxxvii. 19 : " the 
stick of Joseph." 

^ " Reuel " is the reading in Jerahmeel xlvi. 4 and 12 ; Jalkut, Ex. 
§ 173, reads " Jethro." " Pharaoh " of the printed texts is a mistake ; 
for although he was a magician (cf . Ex. Rab. ix. 6 ff.) he would not take 
the rod which " he desired in his heart " and plant it in Jethro's 
garden. 

* For full details as to the various legends about the rod, see Griin- 
baum, op. cit. pp. 161 ff. Jalkut, loc. cit., omits the words " and he 
saw the rod " which occur in P.R.E. 

' The first editions read : " in the house of Jethro." 

* According to the Book of Jashar Ixxvii. 49, 51, and the Jalkut, 
loc. cit., Jethro resolved to give his daughter to the man who was 
able to remove the rod. 

* See Ex. Rab. viii. 3; see also infra, p. 329. n. 8, and Pal. Tar- 
gum, Ex. iii. 21. Cf. the Book of Jashar, loc. cit. .which, appears to have 
used P.R.E. in the account of the " rod " (ch. Ixxvii. 39-51)- The letters 
on the rod were the Ineffable Name of God or the initials of the ten 
plagues. 

10 Jn the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 



314 RABBI ELIEZER 

Moses was keeping the sheep of Jethro for forty years,^ 
and the beasts of the field did not consume them, but they 
increased and multipHed exceedingl}','- and concerning 
them the Scripture saith, " As the flock of holy things " 
(Ezek. xxxvi. SS).^ 

And he led the flock until he came to Horeb, as it is said, 
" And he led the flock to the back of the wilderness,* and 
came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb " (Ex. iii. 1 ). There 
the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed unto him from 
the midst of the thorn-bush. Moses saw the bush burning 
with fire, and the fire did not consume the bush, and the 
bush did not extinguish the flames of fire.* Now the bush 
does not grow in the earth unless it has water beneath it. 
Moses saw and was wondering very much in his heart, and 
he said : What kind of glory *^ is there in its midst ? He 
said : I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the 
thorn-bush is not burnt. The Holy One, blessed be He, 
said to him : Moses ! Stand where thou art standing, for 
there in the future will I give the Torah to Israel, as it is said, 
" And he said. Draw not nigh hither ; " put off thy shoes 
from off thy feet,^ for the place whereon thou standest is 
holy ground " {ibid. 5). The Holy One, blessed be He, said 
to him : Go.^ Hence (the sages) said : Anyone who enters 
the Temple ^"^ must remove || his shoe, for thus spake the Holy 
One, blessed be He, to Moses : " Put off thy shoes from off 
thy feet " (ibid.). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : " Come and I 

^ See Siphre, Deut. § 357 ; and Midrash Tannaim, ed. Hoffmann, 
p. 226. 

^ See Cant. Rab. iii. 5. 

^ Applied to Jethro's flock because Moses led them to graze near 
the Mount of God. The first editions add the next tvvo words of the 
quotation. 

* In the MS. and the first editions the quotation ends here. 

* See Pal. Targum, Ex. iii. 2. 

* Or "mysterj'" of God; see Lev. Rab. xi. 5. The sentence is in 
Aramaic and is unusual in our book. The translation might be : 
'■ whose slory," etc. 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

* In the first editions the quotation ends here. 

* This sentence occurs in our MS. only. The reference should 
probably be Ex. iii. 16. 

"0 See Mishnah Berakhoth ix. i ; T.B. Berakhoth, 62b; T.B. Sotah, 
40a. The Book of Jashar, loc. cit.. omits the reference to the removal 
of the shoes. See Pal. Targum, in loc. The first editions read: "Any 
one who stands in a holy place." 



MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH 315 

will send thee unto Pharaoh " {ibid. 10). He answered before 
Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! Have I not spoken thus to 
Thee three or four times, that I have no power, for I have 
a defective tongue, as it is said, " And Moses said unto 
the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent " {ibid. iv. 10). Not 
only this, but moreover Thou dost send me into the power of 
my enemy who seeks ni}' hurt.^ For this reason I fled from 
him, as it is said, " But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh " 
{ibid. ii. 15). He answered him : Do not fear him,^ for all 
the men who sought thy life are already dead. 

Were they dead ? Were they not alive ? Only they 
had diminished ^ their wealth. Hence thou mayest learn 
that all who lose their wealth are as though they were dead, 
therefore it is said, " For all the men are dead who sought thy 
life " {ibid. iv. 19). (God) said to him : " Come and I will 
send thee unto Pharaoh " {ibid. iii. 10). He replied to Him : 
Sovereign of all worlds ! " Send by the hand of him whom 
thou wilt send " {ibid. iv. 13) — that is to say, by the hand of 
that man whom Thou wilt send in the future.* He said 
to him : I have not said, " Come and I will send thee to 
Israel," but " Come and I will send thee unto Pharaoh " 
{ibid. iii. 10). And as for that man of w^hom thou sayest 
that I should send him to Israel in the future that is to come, 
so it is said, || " Behold, I will send you Elijah the pro^ahet^ 
before the great and terrible day of the Lord come "(Mai. iv. 5). 
" And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, 
and the heart of the children to their fathers " {ibid. 6). 

(Moses) spake before Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! 
Give me a wonder or a sign.*^ He said to him : Cast thy staff 
to the ground. He cast his staff to the ground, and it became 

' The first editions read : " enemies, and of them who seek my hurt. 
Was it not for this reason that I fled from them ? " 

2 The first editions read : " them." 

3 Lit. " They had descended from their wealth " ; see T.B. Nedarim, 
64b and 65a. 

* Elijah ; or, perhaps, the reference is to Phineas the son of Aaron, 
who is identified by our author with Elijah; see infra, p. 371, and 
Pal. Targum, in loc. : " By the hand of Phineas." On EUjah see T.B. 
'Erubin, 43b. 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here and then follows the next 
verse, of which the first three words in the Hebrew are quoted. The 
first editions do not have the second quotation, but continue the first 
verse. 

•See Ex. Rab. iii. 12, and Siphre, Deut. § S3. Moses wished to 
have a sign in heaven and a wonder on earth. 



316 RABBI ELIEZER 

a fiery serpent. Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, show 
unto Moses (a sign) with a fiery serpent,^ and why did He not 
show it to him with something else ? But just as the serpent 
bites and kills the sons of man, likewise Pharaoh and his 
people bit and slew the Israelites. Afterwards it became again 
like a dry stick. Thus He spake : Likewise Pharaoh and his 
people shall become like this dry stick, ^ as it is said, " And 
the Lord said unto Moses : Put forth thine hand.^ and take 
it by the tail " (Ex. iv. 4). He spake before Him : Sovereign 
of all worlds ! Give me a wonder. He said to him : " Put 
now thine hand into thy bosom " {ibid. 6). And he put his 
hand into his bosom, and he brought it out leprous like snow. 
Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, show imto Moses 
(a sign) by means of an unclean thing, and (why) did He not 
show it by means of a clean thing ? But just as the leper 
is unclean and causes uncleanliness, likewise Pharaoh and 
his people were unclean, and they caused Israel to be 
unclean.^ Afterwards (Moses) became clean again, ^ and 
He spake to him : Likewise shall Israel become clean from 
the uncleanliness of the Egyptians, as it is said, " And he 
said, Put now thine hand into thy bosom " (ibid.). 

Why did He show unto Moses the fire in the midst of the 
thorn-bush ? || But the fire refers to Israel, who are com- 
pared to fire,^' as it is said, " And the house of Jacob shall 
be a fire" (Obad. 18). The thorn-bush refers to the nations 
of the world,' who are compared to thorns and thistles. He 
said to him : Likewise shall Israel be in the midst of the 
nations. The fire of Israel shall not consume the nations, 
who are compared to thorns and thistles ; but the nations of 
the world shall extinguish the flames of Israel — (these flames) 
are the words of the Torah. But in the future that is to 
come the fire of Israel will consume all the nations, who are 

^ The first editions read : " like a fiery serpent by (means of) the 
rod and (why) did He not show him something else ? " 

* The preceding part of this sentence occurs in the MS. only. 

' In the MS. the quotation ends here, in the first editions it is 
continued. 

* See infra, p. .S''^2. 

^ Luria adds : " as it is said : ' And He said, Restore thy hand.' " 
Cf. Ex. Rab. iii. 13. The MS. repeats the quotation (Ex. iv. 6). 

* Because the Shekhinah abides among them, and because they 
possess the Torah, the " Law of fire." Ci. Mekhilta de R. Sinn on, p. r ff. 

' The Amsterdam and Prague editions read : " the idolaters " ; 
later editions read " the wicked," 



MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH 317 

compared to thorns and thistles,^ as it is said, " And the 
peoples shall be as the burnings of lime " (Isa. xxxiii. 12). 

Moses said before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign 
of all worlds ! Make known to me Thy great and holy 
Name, that I may call on Thee by Thy Name,- and Thou 
wilt answer me, as it is said, " And God said unto Moses, 
I am that I am " (Ex. iii. 14). " And God further said ^ 
(to Moses) " {ibid. 15). 

The angels saw that the Holy One, blessed be He, had 
transmitted the secret of the Ineffable Name * to Moses, and 
they rejoined : Blessed art thou, O Lord, who graciously 
bestoweth knowledge.^ 

^ See the rest of the verse quoted from Isaiah. 

2 Cf. supra, pp. 129, 264. See Shocher Tob on Ps. xcii. i, p. 198b, 
and 8, p. 200b ; cf. Isa. hi. 6. The first editions add : " And He made 
it known to him." 

* The MS. ends the quotation here. The first editions continue 
the next two words in the Hebrew text. The verse continues : " Thus 
shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord, the God of your 
fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, 
hath sent me unto you : this is my name for ever, and this is my 
memorial unto all generations." 

* See Othijoth de R. 'Akiba, letters 1, n, n; B.H.M. iii. pp. 12 ff. ; 
and cf. Grixnbaum, Z.D.M.G. xl. p. 245. The rod with the Ineffable 
Name was transmitted by Moses to his successor Joshua, who conquered 
the Canaanites by its aid. 

* This is the fourth benediction of the Shemoneh 'Esreh ; see Singer, 
p. 46. Our JNIidrash attempts to associate Moses with its origin, see 
supra, p. 267. 



CHAPTER XLI 

THE REVELATION ON SINAI [56b. i.] 

The sixth descent ^ was when He came down on Sinai, as 
it is said, " And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai " 
(Ex. xix. 20). On the sixth of Sivan ^ the Holy One, blessed 
be He, was revealed unto Israel ^ on Sinai, ^ and from His 
place was He revealed (on) Mount Sinai, ^ and the heavens 
were opened, 1| and the summit of the mountain entered into 
the heavens. Thick darkness covered the mountain, and 
the Holy One, blessed be He, sat upon His throne, and His 
feet stood on the thick darkness, as it is said, " He bowed 
the heavens also, and came down ; ^ and thick darkness 
was under his feet " (2 Sam. xxii. 10).'' 

Rabbi Tarphon said : The Holy One, blessed be He, 
rose and came from Mount Sinai ^ and was revealed unto 
the sons of Esau, as it is said, " And he said. The Lord 
came from Sinai, and rose '^ from Seir unto them " (Deut. 
xxxiii. 2). And " Seir " means only the sons of Esau, as 
it is said, " And Esau dwelt in Mount Seir " (Gen. xxxvi. 8). 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them : Will ye accept 

1 See supra, pp. 97, 312. 

* See infra, p. 359. Jubilees fixes the 15th of Sivan as the 
Festival of the Giving of the Law (see i. i) and as the Feast of 
Weeks (vi. 17, 18) ; see Charles' notes on pp. 52, 106. P.R.E. in 
following Rabbinic tradition opposes this here. 

3 According to the Mekhilta, p. 63b, Moses received the Divine 
Revelation on the 6th of Sivan. 

* The first editions read : " Mount Sinai." 

* The first editions read : " and Mount Sinai was torn from its 
place." See T.B. Sabbath, 88a; Jalkut, Ex. § 2S4 ; Pal. Targum, Ex. 
xix. I ; and Mekhilta, p. 05a. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

' See T.B. Sukkah, 5a, and T.B. Joma, 4a, on the Revelation on 
Mount Sinai. 

* The first editions read : " rose from Mount Seir." 

318 



THE REVELATION ON SINAI 319 

for yourselves the Torah ? They said to Him : What is 
written therein ? He answered them : It is written therein, 
" Thou shalt do no murder " (Ex. xx. 13). They repHed 
to Him : We are unable to abandon the blessing with 
which Isaac blessed Esau, for he said to him, " By thy 
sword shalt thou live " (Gen. xxvii. 40). Thence He turned 
and was revealed unto the children of Ishmael, as it is said, 
" He shined forth from Mount Paran " (Deut. xxxiii. 2). 
" Paran " ^ means only the sons of Ishmael, as it is said, 
" And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran " (Gen. xxi. 21). 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them : Will ye accept 
for yourselves the Torah ? They said to Him : What is 
written therein ? He answered them : " Thou shalt not 
steal " (Ex. xx. 15) is written therein. They said to Him : 
We are not able to abandon the usage which our fathers 
observed, for they ^ brought Joseph down into Egypt, as 
it is said, " For indeed I was stolen away ^ out of the land of 
the Hebrews " (Gen. xl. 15).^ Thence ^ He sent H messengers 
to all the nations of the world. He said unto them : Will 
ye receive for yourselves the Torah ? They said to Him : 
What is written therein ? He said to them : " Thou shalt 
have no other gods before me " (Ex. xx. 3). They said to 
Him : ^ We have no delight in the Torah, therefore let Him 
give His Torah to His people, as it is said, " The Lord will 
give strength ' unto his people ; the Lord will bless ^ his 
people with peace" (Ps. xxix. ll).'' Thence He returned 
and was revealed unto the children of Israel, as it is said, 
" And lie came from the ten thousands of holy ones " (Deut. 

1 Paran was the abode of Ishmael, Gen. xxi. 21. 

2 The first editions read : " for they stole Joseph and brought him 
down," etc. 

3 The quotation ends here in the MS.; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

* Joseph's statement that he was stolen out of the land of the 
Hebrews refers to the transaction between his brethren and the 
Ishmaehtes as recounted in Gen. xxxvii. 28. On this section see 
Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 193 £f. 

s The MS. reads : " And Moses." This is due to an error on the 
part of the copyist, " Umosheh " standing for " Umesham." 

^ The first editions add : " We are unable to abandon the law of 
our fathers who served idols." 

' Strength ('0?) is identified by the Midrash with the Torah. 

» The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

»See T.B. Zebachim, Ii6a. 



320 RABBI ELIEZER 

xxxiji. 2). The expression " ten thousands " means the 
children of Israel, as it is said, " And when it rested, he 
said,^ Return, O Lord, unto the ten thousands of the thousands 
of Israel " (Num. x. 36). With Him were thousands twice- 
told of chariots, even twenty thousand - of holy angels,^ and 
His right hand was holding the Torah, as it is said, " At his 
right hand was a fiery law unto them " (Deut. xxxiii. 2). 

Hence thou mayest learn that the words of the Torah 
are like coals of fire.' Why was it " at his right hand " ? 
Whence do we know (that it was given to them) with ex- 
pression of love ? Because it is said, " The Lord hath 
sworn by his right hand,'' and by the arm of his strength " 
(Isa. Ixii. 8).« 

Rabbi Eliezcr said : From the day when the Israelites 
went forth from Egypt, they were journeying and encamping 
in smoothness,' they were journeying in smoothness and 

1 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ Cf . Ps. Ixviii. 17: "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, 
even thousands upon thousands : the Lord is among them, as in 
Sinai, in the sanctuary." 

^ Jubilees i. 27 teaches that the " law was given through the 
ministry of angels." According to Dr. Charles (Jubilees, p. 8, note 27) 
the text in Jubilees i. 27 " forms apparently the earliest testimony " 
to this idea. In the N.T. we have it also ; see Gal. iii. 19, Acts vii. 53, 
and Heb. ii. 2. The idea is not Palestinian, but seems to be Alexaii- 
drian. This is perhaps an indication pointing to Alexandria 
as the home of Jubilees, just as Hebrews, Acts, and Paul's teaching 
are all representative of Alexandrine teaching. Our Midrash combats 
the notion that the Torah was given to Israel by the angels : God 
Himself gives His law to His people. 

* Cf. Aboth ii. 10 : " for all the words of the Sages are hkc coals of 
fire." The first editions add here : " And He gave it to them with 
an expression of love, as it is said : ' His left hand is under my head ' 
(Cant. ii. 6), and with an expression of an oath, as it is said : ' The 
Lord hath sworn,' " etc. The quotation from Cant. ii. 6 continues : 
" and his right hand doth embrace me." 

* The quotation ends here in our MS. 

* The first editions add : " ' His right hand ' ' is nought else save 
an oath, as it is said, 'The Lord hath sworn by his right hand' " * 
(Isa. Ixii. 8). 

^ Of tongue. Luria thinks that the text should read " Machaloketh," 
" strife." This is also the reading in the Mekhilta, p. 02a, Lev. Rab. ix. 9, 
and Lam. Rab. Proem. The next words, up to "as it is said," occur 
in the MS. only. 

^ The " right hand " is the word used in the two texts to justify 
the analogy and the inference drawn by our Midrash. In Deut. 
xxxiii. 2 the " right hand " occurs in connection with the giving 
of the Law. See infra, p. 3^5. 

* Here " right hand " occurs in connection with swearing. 



THE REVELATION ON SINAI 321 

they were encamping in smoothness, as it is said, " And 
they journeyed (from Rephidim, and they came to the 
wilderness of Sinai),^ and they encamped in the wilderness" 
(Ex. xix. 2) ; until they all came to Mount Sinai, and they 
all encamped opposite the mountain, like one man with 
one heart, as it is said, " And there Israel encamped ^ 
before the mount " (ibid.). The Holy One, blessed be He, 
spake to them : Will ye receive for yourselves || the Torah ? 
Whilst the Torah had not yet been heard they said to Him : 
We will keep and observe all the precepts which are in the 
Torah, as it is said, " And they said. All that the Lord 
hath spoken will we do, and be obedient " ^ {ibid. xxiv. 7). 

Rabbi Ela?;ar of Modein said : From the day when 
the heavens and the earth were created, the name of the 
mountain was Horeb.* When the Holy One, blessed be 
He, was revealed unto Moses out of the thorn-bush, because 
of the word for the thorn-bush (S'neh) it was called Sinai 
(Sinai), and that is Horeb. And whence do we know that 
Israel accepted the Torah at Mount Horeb ? Because it 
is said, " The day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy 
God in Horeb " (Deut. iv. lO).^ 

Rabbi Phineas said : On the eve of Sabbath ^ the Israelites 
stood at Mount Sinai, arranged with the men apart and the 
women apart. ' The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses : 
Go, speak to the daughters of Israel, (asking them) whether 
they wish to receive the Torah. Why were the women asked 
(first) ? Because the way of men is to follow the opinion 
of women,^ as it is said, " Thus shalt thou say to the 
house of Jacob " (Ex. xix. 3) ; these are the women. " And 
tell the children of Israel " (ibid.) ; these are the men. They 
all replied (as) with one mouth, and they said : " All that 

1 The MS. and the first editions read : " they journeyed and they 
encamped." 

2 The verb here is in the singular number ; the Israelites were 
united as though they were a single man, see Pal. Targum, Ex. xix. 2. 

^ The first editions quote Ex. xxiv. 3. 

* See Ex. iii. i and xxxiii. 6 ; cf. i Kings viii. 9. 

* This is followed by the words : " And he drew near and stood 
at the foot of the mountain " ; and there the Torah was given. 

* See infra, p. 359. 

' See T.B. Sukkah, 52a. The separation of the sexes was observed 
in the ark of Noah according to Jewish and Christian legend (see 
supra, p. 169), and it is observed to this day in some of the churches 
as well as in the synagogue. 

8 See Ex. Rab. xxviii. 2 ; T.B. Sabbath, 87a, and Mekhilta, p. 62b, 
2J 



322 RABBI ELIEZER 

the Lord hath spoken we will do, and be obedient " (ibid. 
xxiv. 7). (The Scripttire also says,) " They that sing ^ 
as well as they that dance - (shall say), All my fountains 
are in thee " (Ps. Ixxxvii. 7).^ 

Rabbi Chanina * said : !| In the third month the day is 
double the night, ^ and the Israelites slept until two hours 
of the day, for sleep on the day of the (feast of) 'Azcreth ^ 
is pleasant,' the night being short. And Moses went forth 
and came to the camp of the Israelites, and he aroused the 
Israelites from their sleep, saying to them : Arise ye from 
your sleep,^ for behold, your God desires to give the Torah 
to you. Already the bridegroom wishes to lead the bride 
and to enter the bridal chamber. The hour has come for 
giving you the Torah, ^ as it is said, " And Moses brought 
forth the people ^" out of the camp to meet God " (Ex. xix. 17). 
And the Holy One, blessed be lie, also went forth to meet 
them ; like a bridegroom who goes forth to meet the bride, 
so the Holy One, blessed be He, went forth to meet them 
to give them ^^ the Torah, as it is said, " O God, when thou 
wentest forth before thy people " (Ps. Ixviii. 7). 

Rabbi Joshua ben Korchah said : The feet of Moses stood 
on the mount,^- and all (his body) was in the midst of the 

' i.e. the men. ^ i.e. the women. 

^ See Shocher Tob. in loc, p. 190b, and Cant. Rab. to Cant. i. 12. 

* The first editions read " Chakhinai." 

' This is one 01 the most interesting expressions in the whole of 
our book. The longest day is twice as long as the shortest in latitude 
49° in Northern Asia ; see Eth. Enoch Ixxii. 14, and see Charles' note 
on p. 153 of the second edition of this book. Can we locate the place 
where this fact applies in connection with P.R.E. ? Or is it merely a 
further instance of the dependence of P.R.E. upon the Pseud epigrapha ? 

* Pentecost. Jubilees uses the term for the day following the seven 
days of Tabernacles ; see Jubilees xxxii. 27, with Charles' note in loc. 

'The reading "pleasant" agrees with the reading in Cant. Rab., 
loc. cit. : " sleep at 'Azereth is pleasant and the night is long"; see 
T.B. Sabbath, 147a, and cf. Tosephta'Arakhin i. y, p. 543. Luria reads : 
" for the period of the days at 'Azereth is long and the night is short." 

* The first editions omit the rest of the sentence. 

* The first editions add here : " The best man ' came and led forth 
the bride just like a man who acts as best man to his companion." 

1" In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

'^The Amsterdam edition omits " them." 
12 Sinai. 

1 j'se-its- (best man). "In Judea they used to put up two 
groomsmen (as guards) ; one appointed by the family of the groom, 
and one by the bride's family " (Tosephta Kethuboth i. 4). 



THE REVELATION ON SINAI 323 

heaven, like a tent ^ which is spread out, and the children 
of men stand - inside it, but their feet stand on the earth,^ 
and all of them are inside the tent ; so was it with Moses, 
his feet stood on the mountain, and all his (body) was in 
the heavens, beholding and seeing everything that is in the 
heavens. The Holy One, blessed be He, was speaking with 
him like a man who || is conversing with his companion, as 
it is said, " And the Lord spake unto Moses face ^ to face " 
(Ex. xxxiii. 11).'' The Holy One, blessed be He, said to 
Moses : Go and sanctify the Israelites for two days, as it 
is said, " And the Lord said unto Moses,'' Go unto the 
people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow " {ibid. 
xix. 10). What then was the sanctity of Israel in the 
wilderness ? There were no uncircumcised people ' in their 
midst ; the manna descended from heaven for them ; they 
drank water out of the Well ; ^ clouds of glory surrounded 
them. What then was the sanctity of Israel in the wilder- 
ness ? It refers to their avoidance of sexual intercourse. 

Moses argued with himself. Moses said : A man of 
Israel may have gone to his wife, and they will be found to 
be prevented from receiving the Torah.^ What did he do ? 
He added one day (more) for them on his own account, 
so that if a man of Israel went to his wife ^" they would 
be found to be clean for two (complete) days ; therefore 
he added one day for them on his own account. 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : Moses ! 
How many souls of the children of men would have come 

1 Our MS. reads " Denda." The first editions read " Tendos." 
Jastrow, T.D. 541a, suggests that the reading should be "Torus" 
(bolster or sofa). The word in our printed editions is taken by the 
"Arukh, ed. Kohut, iv. p. 47b, to be the late Latin tenia ; Greek revTa. 
The word occurs in Pal. Targum, Lev. xxv. 31. See supra, p. 16, note 6. 

2 "Arukh, loc. cit., reads " stand " ; the first editions read " sit." 
3 'Arukh, loc. cit., reads " stand outside." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ " Face to face " means that the Divine word was as a man's 
speech as far as Moses was concerned. 

^ This part of the verse is omitted by our MS. ; it occurs in the 
first editions. 

^ Luria reads : " people with uncircumcised hearts." 

* On the Well see supra, pp. 124 and 218. 
^ See The Clementine Homilies, xi. 30. 

1" On the eve preceding the day before the two days of prohibition ; 
see T.B. Sabbath, loc. cit-; T.B. Jebamolb, 62a; aud Aboth de R. 
Nathan [a) ii. p. 5a, 



324 RABBI ELIEZER 

forth from Israel in that night ? What thou hast done 
has been (rightly) accomplished.^ The Holy One, blessed 
be He, approved his action. - 

(The Holy One, blessed be He, said : ^) Let Moses de- 
scend to the camp, and afterwards will I cause My Torah 
to be iDioclaimed.' He said to him : " Go down, charge 
the people " {ibid. 21). Moses was wishing to be || there,^ 
and he said to Him : I have already charged the people. 
He said to him : Go, and call thy Rabbi. ^ Moses descended 
to the camp to call Aaron, and the Holy One, blessed be 
He, proclaimed His Torah unto His people, as it is said,^ 
" So Moses went down unto the people,^ and told them " 
{ibid. 25). What is written after this ? " And God spake 
all these words, saying, I, the Lord, am (to be) thy God,^ 
who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house 
of bondage " {ibid. xx. 1, 2). 

The voice of the first (commandment) went forth,^ and the 
heavens and earth quaked thereat,^'* and the waters and 
rivers fled,^^ and the mountains and hills were moved,^^ and 

* The first editions read : " Thou hast done well." 

^ The first editions add here: "as it is said, 'And let them be 
ready against the third day'" (Ex. xix. ii). See Mekliilta, 
p. 64a; Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xviii. p. loi ; and cf. Jalkut, 
Ex. § 282. Luria reads in place of " as it is said," etc., " Be ready 
for three days and do not touch any man his wife." 

^ The words in brackets are found in the first editions and are 
needed. They are wanting in our .MS. 

■■ The first editions add here : "to Israel, so that one should not 
say : Moses was speaking to us out of the midst of the cloud." 

^ See T.B. Joma, 4b; Lev. Rab. i. i ; T.B. Berakhoth, 45a; and 
Mekhilta, p. 66a. 

* Or " tracher." The first editions read : " Call Aaron." 

' The first editions add : " And the Lord said to him, Go, get thee 
down " (Ex. xix. 24). 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here ; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

* See Pal. Targum on Ex. xx. 2. 
10 Cf. Judg. V. 4. 

" Luria reads " dried up " (cf. Nahum i. 4, and see Ex. Rab. xxix. 3) 
instead of " fled." 

*^ See Hab. iii. 6 and Nahum i. 5. These prophets recall the revela- 
tion at Sinai, believing firmly in this fundamental fact of the history 
of Israel. They would have sinilrd at some of the latest theories 
of the Higher Critics, who propose to date the Pentateuch as a pro- 
duction of the times of Hczekiah. They would have ridiculed the 
notion that some late writer had " invented " the Sinaitic theophany 
in order to account for the Decalogue, which he held to be divinely 
inspired. One is tempted to a.sk, Why is not Lev. xix. also set in 
a theophanic background ? 



THE REVELATION ON SINAI 325 

all the trees fell prostrate,^ and the dead who were in Sheol 
revived, and stood on their feet till the end of all the genera- 
tions,- as it is said, " But with him that standeth here with 
us this day" (Deut. xxix. 15), ^ and those (also) who in the 
future will be created, until the end of all the generations, there 
they stood with them at Mount Sinai, as it is said, " And also 
with him that is not here* with us this day" {ibid.)/' The 
Israelites who were alive (then) fell upon their faces and died. 
The voice of the second (commandment) went forth, and 
they were quickened,^ and they stood upon their feet and 
said to Moses : Moses, our teacher ! We are unable to hear 
any more the voice of the Holy One, blessed be He, for we 
shall die even as we died (just now), as it is said,^ " And 
they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us,* and we will 
hear : but let not God speak with us, lest zve die " (Ex. xx. 19). 
And now, why should we die as we died (just now) ? The 
Holy One, blessed be He, heard the voice of Israel, and it 
was pleasing to Him, and He sent for Michael || and Gabriel, 
and they took hold of the two hands of Moses against his 
will,^ and they brought him near unto the thick darkness, 
as it is said, " And Moses drew near unto the thick dark- 
ness where God was " {ibid. 21). 

It is only written here (in the text concerning) Moses (that) 
" he drew near." ^ The rest of the commandments He spake 
through the mouth of Moses,^° and concerning him the text 

^ Cf. Ps. xxix. 5 : " The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars." 
This Psalm is interpreted by the Midrash as referring to the Giving 
of the Law. Luria thinks that we should read " hinds " in P.R.E. 
instead of " trees " ; cf. Job xxxix. i. 

''The words "till the end of all generations" do not occur in all 
the texts. 

' See the rest of the verse. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

* See Ex. Rab. xxviii. 8, and cf. Tanchuma Nizabim, § ii. 

* See Ex. Rab. xxix. 4, and Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, 
pp. 196 ff. 

' The first editions add here : " ' My soul went forth when he spake ' 
(Cant. v. 6), and it is written : ". 

* Cf. T.B. Joma, loc. cit. 

* According to Luria, the Midrashic text is to be explained thus : 
" He drew near " is not written here, but " He was drawn near." 
The first editions seem to have the correct reading : " ' was approach- 
ing ' is not written, but ' he approached.' " 

^•^ See Mekhilta, p. 71b, as to whether the children of Israel heard 
the first two Commandments of the Decalogue, or more. Cf. Cant. 
Rab. on Cant. i. 2. 



326 RABBI ELIEZER 

says, " As the cold of snow in the time of harvest,^ so is a 
faithful messenger to them that send him " (Prov. xxv. 13). 

And it came to pass, " When ye hear the sound of the 
trumpet " - (2 Sam. xv. 10). Why did the Holy One, blessed 
be He, cause His voice to be heard out of the midst of the ^ 
darkness, and not out of the midst of the light ? A parable : 
to what is the matter to be likened ? To a king * who 
was having his son married to a woman, and he suspended 
in the wedding chamber of his son black curtains,'' and not 
white curtains.*^ He said to them : I know that my son 
will not remain with his wife except for forty days ; so that 
on the morrow they should not say the king was an astrologer, 
but he did not know what would happen to his son. So 
with the King, who is the Holy One, blessed be He, and 
His son is Israel, and the bride is the Torah.' The Holy 
One, blessed be He, knew that Israel would not remain 
(loyal) to the commandments except for forty days, there- 
fore the Holy One, blessed be He, caused them to hear His 
voice out of the midst of** darkness, and not out of the 
midst of light, therefore it is said, " And it came to pass, 
when ye heard the voice " (Deut. v. 23). 

Rabbi Jehudah said : When a man speaks with his com- 
panion, he II hears the soimd of his voice, but he does not see 
any light with it ; ^ the Israelites heard the voice of the Holy 

1 The quotation ends here in our MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ The first editions read : " And it came to pass, when ye heard 
the voice out of the midst of the darkness " (Deut. v. 23). 

* Tlie first editions read here : " tire and darkness." 

' The first editions add : " who was an astrologer." See Tosephta 
'Arakhin i. 10, p. 543. Cf. Ziegler's Die Konigsgleichnisse des Midrasch, 
P- 353- See also jalkut, Deut. § 831. ouSibdn. darpoXoyos, astronomer 
or astrologer. The reading, as emended by Luria, is based on the 
Jalkut, loc. cit. Ziegler's remarks on p. 352 {op. cit.) on astrology and 
marriage are interesting. 

* See 'Arukh, ed. Kohut, vii. p. 427a, s.v. nrsns. 

* The first editions add here : " The othcials of the palace said to 
him : Our lord, O king ! Nobody suspends in his son's wedding 
chamber anything except white curtains." 

' Our hook is noteworthy here in referring to God as the " Father " 
of Israel assisting at the wedding of His Son " Israel " and the bride 
" the Torah." The usual poetry of the Midrashim is to unite God 
with Israel, His bride. 

* The first editions read here : " fire and darkness." 

* Our text agrees with Jalkut, Ex. § 299. The first editions read : 
" When a man speaks with liis companion he is visible, but his voice 
is invisible." 



THE REVELATION ON SINAI 327 

One, blessed be He, on Mount Sinai, and saw ^ the voice - 
going forth from the mouth of the Ahnighty ^ in the hghtning 
and the thunder,'* as it is said, " And all the people saw 
the thunderings and the lightnings " (Ex. xx. 18). All the 
precepts which are in the Torah ^ number 611, and two, which 
the Holy One, blessed be He, spake,^ as it is said, " God 
has spoken once,' two have I heard thus " (Ps. Ixii. 11).^ 

Rabbi Phineas said : All that generation who heard the 
voice of the Holy One, blessed be He, on Mount Sinai, were 
worthy to be like the ministering angels,^ so that insects 
had no power over them.^° They did not experience pollu- 
tion in their lifetime, and at their death neither worm nor 
insect prevailed over them. Happy were they in this world 
and happy will they be in the world to come,^^ and concerning 
them the Scripture says, " Happy is the people, that is in such 
a case" {ibid, cxliv. 15). 

^ See Ex. xx. i8. 

* Our MS. reads Hakkol, " everything " ; it should be Hakkol, " the 
voice." 

^ On " Gebburah " see Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 177. 

* But otherwise they saw nothing. 

^ The first editions add here : " Therefore is this code called Torah. ^ 
And whence do you know (this) ? Because Torah has the value of 611 
and the two (precepts) which the Lord spake." 

* The first editions read: "number 613 precepts, and two, which 
the Holy One, blessed be He, spake." 

' The quotation ends here in the MS. The first editions read : 
" He has spoken once, two have we heard." This is a mutilated 
form of the quotation Ps. Ixii. 11, and clearly proves that the Venice 
edition copied the first edition (the Constantinople text). After 
the quotation the first editions add " behold 613." 

* See Num. Rab. xi. 7 ; Jalkut, in loc, Pss. § 7S3. According to 
the Midrash the Decalogue was proclaimed in one utterance ; see also 
Mekhilta, 41b, and cf. Ex. Rab. xxviii. 4. 

' Cf . Ps. Ixxxii. 6. According to the Book of Jubilees ii. 17-21, 
Israel is like the " angels of the presence and the angels of sanctifica- 
tion," chosen to observe the Sabbath with God "in heaven and on 
earth." 

^^ See T.B. Baba Bathra, 15a; and cf. Ezek. xxxiv. 25 and 
Prov. i. 33 ; these two verses are applied by the Midrash to the genera- 
tion of those who received the Torah in the wilderness. 

^^ See T.B. Synhedrin, goaff., for discussion on the " future life." 



1 mm = 400 plus 6 plus 200 plus 5, i.e. 611. This Torah was 
given to Israel by Moses, and indicates the 611 precepts contained 
therein. There are two more, namely, the first two Commandments 
of the Decalogue given by God. This brings up the total to 613. 
The Torah is called the " Law of Moses " by Mai. iv. 4, and the name 
Torah is suggested by the word formed by the letters representing 
this number of 611, namely Taria {n-iri) ; see Jalkut Makhiri, P~. Ixii. 
p. 157a. 



CHAPTER XLII 

THE EXODUS [58b. i.J 

" And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people 
go " (Ex. xiii. 17). This is -what the Scripture says, " Thy 
shoots^ arc a garden of pomegranates " (Cant. iv. 13). Just 
as this garden is full of (various) kinds of trees, each one 
bearing - according to its kind, so the Israelites, when they 
went forth from Egypt, were full of all good, (endowed with) 
the various kinds of blessings, as it is said, " Thy shoots 
are (like) a garden of pomegranates " (ibid.). 

Rabban Gamaliel said : The Egyptians pursued after 
the children of Israel as far as the Reed Sea, and encamped 
behind them. The enemy was behind them ^ and the 
sea II was in front of them. And the Israelites saw the 
Egyptians, and feared very greatly, and there they cast 
away from themselves all the Egyptian abominations,* and 
they repented very sincerely, and called upon their God, as 
it is said, " And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of 
Israel lifted ^ up their eyes " (Ex. xiv. 10). Moses beheld 
the anguish of Israel, and arose to pray on their behalf.^ 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him : '' Speak unto 
the children of Israel, that they go forward " {ibid. 15). 

1 " Thy shoots " is to be interpreted as though it impHed " thy 
coming forth." In the Midrash here the word yn'^ef is also taken 
to mean, " those of thee who went forth." 

^ The first editions add " fruit." 

' r'.e. Israel. The first editions read instead of this sentence: 
" The Israelites were between the Egyptians and the sea, which was 
in front of them, whilst the enemy was behind them." 

* See Ezek. xx. 7; Siphrd, Num. § 84; T.J. Sukkah iv. 3. 54c ; Ex. 
Rab. xxiv. i ; Mekhilta, Bo, 5a and 15a. The authority for the tradi- 
tion is R. Eliezer ben Hakkapar {c. 200 c.e.). See also T.B. Synhedrin, 
103b, as to whether the Israelites took any idols with them across the 
Reed Sea. 

' MS. Gaster reads : " cried unto the Lord." 

• See Ex. Rab. xxi. i. 

328 



THE EXODUS 329 

Moses spake before the Holy One, blessed be He, saying : 
Sovereign of all worlds ! The enemy is behind them, and 
the sea is in front of them, which way shall they go forward ? 
What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He sent ^ 
Michael,^ and he became a wall of fire ^ between (Israel and ^) 
the Egyptians. The Egyptians desired ^ to follow after 
Israel, but they are unable to come (near) because of the 
fire. The angels beheld the misfortune of Israel all the 
night, and they uttered neither j^raise nor sanctification ^ to 
their Creator,'^ as it is said, " And the one came not near 
the other all the night " {ibid. 20). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses : Moses ! 
" Stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it " {ibid. 
16). " And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea " 
{ibid. 21), but the sea refused to be divided.^ What did 

1 See Pal. Targum, Ex. xiv. 19, and cf. Num. xx. 16 for the sending 
of the angel to save God's people. A parallel occurs in the Acts of 
Andrew and Matthias in A.N.C.L. xvi. p. 366. 

2 The first editions add : " the great prince." See Dan. xii. i for 
reference to Michael, and cf. Gen. Rab. 1. 2 (and see Reitzenstein, 
Poimandres, 294) ; Ex. Rab. ii. 5 ; and supra, p. 247. Our text 
is, perhaps, criticizing the Book of Jubilees, which says : " not- 
withstanding all signs and wonders the prince of the Mastema was 
not put to shame because he took courage and cried to the Egyptians 
to pursue after them with all the powers of the Egj^ptians " (xlviii. 12). 
On the opposition between Mastema (Sammael) on the one hand and 
Michael on the other, see Archiv fiir Religionswissenschaft, vol. xvi. 
p. 166, Marmorstein's article, note 5. See Tanchuma (Buber), Gen. 
48b ; and Ex. Rab. xviii. 5, where Michael and Sammael are contrasted. 
See also T.B. Sotah, lob. 

3 See Zech. ii. 5 ; Nachmanides on Ex., in loc, and supra, p. 

325- 

* The words in brackets are missing in our MS. ; they occur in the 

first editions. 

' Perhaps the text should be rendered " ran." 

^ Cf. Siphre, Num. § 58, based on Isa. Ixii. 6. The first editions read 
" thanksgiving." 

' See R. Bechai, in loc. ; Ex. Rab. xxiii. 7 ; Shocher Tob on Ps. cv. i , 
p. 277b ; and T.B. Megillah, lob, which says that the angels did not sing 
to God because the work of His hands (i.e. the Egyptians) were perishing. 
The quotation is given by our MS. only. 

* The first editions add here : " He then showed it the covenant of 
circumcision and the coffin of Joseph, and the staff on which the 
Ineffable Name was engraved, 1 but it did not consent. Moses returned 
before the Holy One, blessed be He, saying : Sovereign of all worlds ! 

1 See supra, p. 313 ; Ex. Rab. xxi. 6; Mekhilta, p. 30b; Pal. Targum, 
Ex. xiv. 21 ; Tanchuma, Nasso, §xxx. ; and Jalkut, Isa. § 474 (end) ; on 
the staff, see supra, pp. 1 4, 3 1 2 f . , and note Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten, 
ii. p. 273, where the tradition is recorded in the name of R. Nehemiah, 
a disciple of R/A^iba (c. 130 c.e.). 



330 RABBI ELIEZER 

the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He looked at the sea, and 
the waters saw the faee of the Holy One, blessed be He, and 
they trembled and quaked,^ and descended into the depths, 
as it is said, " The waters saw thee, O God ; - the waters 
saw thee, they were afraid : the depths also trembled " 
(Ps. Ixxvii. 16). 

Rabbi Eliezer said : || On the day when He said, " Let 
the waters be gathered together"^ (Gen. i. 9), on that very 
day were the waters congealed, and they were made into 
twelve valleys,^ corresponding to the twelve tribes, and they 
were made into walls of water ^ between each path,® and 
(the people) could see one another,' and they saw the Holy 
One, blessed be He, walking before them, but the heels of His 
feet *^ they did not see,-' as it is said,^" " Thy way was in 
the sea,^^ and thy paths in the great waters, and thy foot- 
steps were not known " (Ps. Ixxvii. 19). 

Rabbi Akiba said : The Israelites advanced to enter the 
Reed Sea, but they turned backwards, fearing lest the waters 
would come over them.^^ The tribe of Judah sanctified His 

The sea will not listen to me. Forthwith was the Holy One, blessed 
be He, revealed before him in His glory at the sea. And the sea 
fled." This is wanting in MS. Gaster. 

1 See Ps. cvi. g, and Midrash thereon ; and see also Jalkut Makhiri, 
Ps. cxiv. p. 98a. 

- In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ i.e. on the tliird day, see supra, p. 63. Cf. Gen. Rab. v. 5. 

* The first editions read " paths." The word in our MS. might 
mean " streams." On the subject, see Wisdom of Solomon xix. 7 ff., 
which contains the oldest extant Midrash on the Exodus. The twelve 
paths may be due to the idea of the twelve tribes ; cf. Hab. iii. 9. See 
also Aboth de R. Nathan (a) xxxiii. p. 4Sb. 

* See Pal. Targum, Ex. xiv. 21. 

® The first editions read: "Between each path were windows." 
See 'Arukh, cd. Kohut, i. p. 124a, b, s.v. nrciiDDK. 

' See Wisdom xix. 8 ; Pesikta, Beshallach, p. 86b; Jalkut on 2 Sam. 
XX. § 152. 

* See supra, p. 27. 

' The first editions read : " were neither seen nor known." 

'*• The first editions read here : " ' They have seen thy goings, O God ' 
(Ps. Ixviii. 24) ; and it is written." 

*i In the MS. the quotation ends here ; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

*^ See T.B. Pesachim, ii8b; T.B. Sotah, 36b, 37a; and Shochcr 
Tob, Ps. Ixxvi. I, p. 170b. The first editions add here: "The Iribe 
of Benjamin wished to enter therein, as it is said : ' There is little 
Benjamin, their ruler' ^ (Ps. Ixviii. 27). They went down (into the 



' DIM seems to be associated by the Midrash with ti', " to go down.' 



THE EXODUS 331 

great Name, and entered the sea first, and under the dominion 
of the hand hkewise of the sons of Jiidah^ (did all Israel 
enter the sea after them), as it is said, " Jiidah became his 
sanctuary,- Israel his dominion " ^ {ibid. cxiv. 2). The 
Egyptians desired ■* to follow after Israel, but they turned 
backwards,^ fearing lest the waters would return over them. 
What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He appeared 
before them like a man riding on the back of a mare, as it is 
said, " To a steed in Pharaoh's chariots " (Cant. i. 9). The 
horse on which Pharaoh rode saw the mare (of God), and it 
neighed and ran and entered the sea after it.^ 

The Egyptians saw that Pharaoh had entered the sea, 
and all of them entered the sea after him, as it is said, " And 
the Egyjatians pursued ' after them " (Ex. xiv. 9). Forth- 
with the waters returned, and covered them, as it is said, 
" And the waters retiu'ued, and covered ® || the chariots, and 
the horsemen " (ibid. 28).s 

Ben 'A??ai said : Everything is (judged according to the 
principle of) measure (for measure) ; just as the Egyptians 
were proud, and cast the male children into the river,i" so 

sea)/ and the tribe of Judah began to stone them, as it is said, ' The 
princes of Judah cast stones ^ at them ' (ibid.) ; and Nachshon ^ sprang 
into the sea first, and he sanctified His great name in the eyes of all." 
See also Rabbivic Philosophy and Ethics, pp i 76 ff. 

^ The first edition and MS. Gaster read : " Under the dominion of the 
hand of the son of Judah, Nachshon." The words in brackets occur in 
the first editions but not in our MS., which reads : " under the dominion 
of the hand likewise the sons of Judah entered first." The second 
edition reads : " under the dominion of the hand of the sons of Judah." 

2 " His sanctuary," in order to sanctify Him. 

3 The first editions and MS. Gaster add : " of Judah." See Shocher 
Tob, in lac. Gen. Rab. Ixxxiv. 17. 

* See note 5 on p. 329. 

* See Mekhilta, p. 32a. 

* Sec Agadath Shir Ha-Shirim ix. (cd. Schechter, p. 17); Mekhilta, 
p. 33a; Tanchuma, Shophetim, § xiv. ; and Jalkut Makhiri, Ps. cxiv., 
loc cit. 

' The MS. has in the margin " and they came." Pharaoh is not 
mentioned here; cf. next chapter, p. 341. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

' See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. vii. p. 43, and cf. ibid, xxiii. p. 123. 

1" See Jubilees xlviii. 14 : " And all the peoples whom he brought 

to pursue after Israel, the Lord our God cast them into the midst of 

the sea, into the depths of the abyss beneath the children of Israel, 

1 This is the reading in the Prague edition and MS. Gaster. 

2 See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 177, note i. 
2 See Num. Rab. xiii. 7. 



332 RABBI ELIEZER 

the Holy One, blessed be He, cast them into the sea, as it 
is said, " I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed 
triumphantly ^ ; tlie horse and his rider hath he thrown into 
the sea " {ibid. xv. 1). 

Rabbi Shela said : All the children (of the Israelites) 
whom the Egyptians cast into the river did not die, for the 
river cast them up, and threw them into the desert of 
Egj'-pt.- The Holy One, blessed be He, brought a rock to 
the mouth of each one, and a rock to the side of each one. 
The rock which was at his mouth was feeding him with 
honey and milk, and the rock which was at their side was 
anointing ^ them with oil, like a lying-in woman who anoints * 
her son,"^ as it is said, " And he made him to suck honey 
out of the rock,^ and oil out of the flinty rock " (Deut. 
xxxii. 13). When Israel came to the sea, they saw the Holy 
One, blessed be He, and they recognized Him, and praised 
Him, and sanctified Him, as it is said, " This is my God, 
and I will praise him " (Ex. xv. 2). 

Rabbi Simon said : On the fourth day the Israelites 
encamped by the edge of the sea, and to the south ^ of the 
sea. The Egyptians were floating like skin-bottles upon the 
surface of the waters,^ and a north ^vind went forth and 
cast them opposite the camp of Israel, and the Israelites 
went and saw them, and they recognized them, and they 

even as the people of Egypt had cast their children into the river." See 
also Wisdom xi. i6. Charles refers also to the foIlo\ving parallels 
illustrating the lex talionis : Wisd. xi. 7, xii. 23, xvi. i, xviii. 4, 5 ; 
Philo, Adv. Place. 20 ; Josephus, Cofitra Ap. ii. 13. 

* Just as the Egyptians triumphed over the Israelites by casting 
their children into the sea, so God triumphed over the Egyptians by 
casting them into the sea. This seems to be the meaning read into 
the double expression of " triumphing " in Ex. xv. i. The quotation 
ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 

- See Deut. xxxii. 10, and cf . Ezek. xvi. 5 with the Midrashic 
interpretation thereon. 

' The first editions read " feeding." 

* The first editions read " feeds." See Jastrow, T.D. 963b, 1. 18. 

* See Jalkut, Ex. § 165, and Pal. Targum, Deut. xxxii. 13; T.B. 
Sotah, lib ; Ex. Rab. xxiii. 8, and Aboth dc Rabbi Nathan, loc. cit. 

® The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

' Luria thinks that aj:D should be n:3D, " opposite," becau.se the 
Israelites were encamped towards the east of the sea. See Tosaphoth, 
'Arakhin, 15a ; catchword : " Just as." 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, io8a; Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxxi. p. 15S, 
based on Job xxiv. 7, referring to the generation of the Flood. See 
also Wisdom x. 19 and Josephus, Ant. ii. 16. b. 



THE EXODUS 333 

said : ^ These (here) were the officials of the palace of 
Pharaoh, and those (there) were the taskmasters, and they 
recognized every one, as it is said, " And Israel saw the 
Egyptians ^ || dead upon the sea shore " {ibid. xiv. 30). 

Rabbi Reuben said : The entire body follows the head,^ 
and when^ the shepherd goes astray the sheep go astray 
after him, as it is said, " For the sins of Jeroboam which 
he sinned,^ and wherewith he made Israel to sin " (1 Kings 
XV. 30). When the shepherd is good, all follow after him.® 
Moses began to sing, and to utter praises before the Holy 
One, blessed be He, and all Israel followed him,'' as it 
is said, " Then sang Moses and the children of Israel " 
(Ex. XV. 1). Miriam began to sing and to utter praises, 
before the Holy One, blessed be He, and all the women 
followed her, as it is said, " And Miriam the prophetess, 
the sister of Aaron,^ took a timbrel . . . and all the women 
went out after her " {ibid. 20). Whence did they have 
timbrels and chorus in the wilderness ? ^ But the righteous 
always know and conciliate (God), and are assured that the 
Omnipresent, blessed be He, performs for them miracles 
and mighty deeds. Before (the time of) their departure 
from Egypt they prepared for themselves timbrels and 
chorus. 

Israel spake before the Holy One, blessed be He : Sovereign 
of all worlds ! These (Egyptians) who have arisen to come 
against us to destroy us from Thy world,^" as well as all who 

1 The first editions read : " and they recognized them, and they said, 
' These are the children of Israel.' " We should read : " and the children 
of Israel said." This is another instance how the Venice edition (1544) 
has thoughtlessly copied the Constantinople edition (151.].). 

^ The quotation ends here in the MS. The next word in the verse, 
" dead," is in the singular number, hence the Midrashic inference. 

3 See T.B. "Erubin, 41a. 

* Luria's text reads : " When the shepherd is good, and goes on the 
right way, the sheep follow him." This is practically the reading of 
the first editions in the next sentence. 

* The quotation ends here in our MS. 

* The first editions and MS. Gaster add : " Our teacher Moses was 
a faithful shepherd." Cf. Num. xxvii. 17. The expression " faithful 
shepherd " in Aramaic is the title of part of the Zohar. 

' See T.B. Sotah, 30b, and Midrash on Prov., ed. Buber, p. 3Sa. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* So also in Mekhilta, p. 44a ; see also Rashi on Ex. in loc. 

^o The first editions and MS. Gaster read here : " And all who rise up 
against us are as though they rose up against Thee. (Destroy them) 
all in the majesty of Thy might, and in Thy fierce anger they shall be 
consumed like stubble." 



334 RABBI ELIEZER 

rise up against us, arc as though they had risen up against 
Thee. Let the majesty of Thy might and Thy fierce anger 
consume them like stubble, as it is said, " And in the great- 
ness of thine excellency thou overthrowest them that rise up 
against thee : ^ thou sendeth forth thy wrath, it consumeth 
them as stubble " {ibid. 7). 

Israel spake before the Holy One, blessed be He : 
Sovereign of all worlds ! There is none like Thee among 
the ministering angels,'-^ and therefore all their descriptive 
names (contain part of the word) Elohim (" God ") ; 
e.g. Michae/ || and Gabrie/.^ " Who is like unto thee among 
the divine creatures,^ O Lord?" {ibid. 11). Pharaoh'' 
rephed after them ^ with the tongue," saying : " Who is 
like thee, glorious in holiness,^ fearful in praises, doing 
wonders ? " {ibid.). " Fearful in praise " ^ is not written 
here, but " fearful in praises " ; for the praises of the 
ministering angels are on high, and the praises of Israel 
are (uttered on earth) below. " Fearful in praises, doing 
wonders " {ibid.), and thus Scripture says, " But thou art 
holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel " (Ps, 
xxii. 3). 

" Thou stretchedst out thy right hand,^° the earth 
swallowed them " (Ex. xv. 12). The Holy One, blessed be 
He, told the earth to bury the slain.^^ (The earth) said unto 
Him : Sovereign of all worlds ! The waters have killed 
them, let the waters swallow ^- them. He answered (the 

^ The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. See Ps. Ixviii. 34. 

2 This is the explanation of the word cVn in the verse : " Who 
is hke unto thee, O Lord, among the Ehm (DSNa)? " (Ex. xv. 11). 

^ See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 65, note i ; and Shocher 
Tob on Ps. Ixviii. p. i6oa, Ex. Rab. xxix. 2, and Pesikta, p. loSb ; and 
cf. supra, p. 88. 

* " EUm." * See infra, p. 341. 
" i.e. the Israehtes. 

' The first editions and MS. Gaster read : " with song and praise 
in the Egyptian language." 

* The quotation >. nds In n- in the MS. 

* Our MS. reads, incorrectly, " praises " ; the first editions have the 
right reading, " praise." 

*" The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

" See Job xxvi. 5. The first editions read : " The Holy One, blessed 
be He, said to the earth : Receive thy hosts,' the slain." 

'* i.e. bury them. Cf . T.B. Pesachim, loc. cit. 

* " 'Ochlos " (host) may be connected with iSxXos, " multitude." 



THE EXODUS 335 

earth) saying : On this occasion receive them ; on another 
occasion sucli tliat be killed by thee in the future will I cast 
into the sea, namely, Sisera and all his host, these will 
I cast into the sea, as it is said, " The river Kishon swept 
them 1 away,- that ancient river" (Judg. v. 21).3 (The 
earth) continued, saying to Him : Give me the oath by Thy 
right hand, that Thou wilt not claim them at my hand.^ 
The Holy One, blessed be He, put forth His right hand, and 
swore to the earth that He would not claim them, as it is said, 
" Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed 
them " (Ex. xv. 12).^ All the kings ^ of the earth heard of 
the departure from Egypt, and the dividing of the Reed Sea ; 
they trembled and feared,'^ and fled from their place, as it 
is said, " The peoples have heard, they tremble " {ibid. 
14). 

Moses spake before the Holy One, blessed be He : 
Sovereign of all worlds ! Put Thy dread || and Thy fear upon 
them, that their heart may be as stone, until Israel has passed 
through the Jordan,^ as it is said, "Till thy people pass 
over ^ . . . thou shalt bring them in, and plant them 
in the mountain of thine inheritance " {ibid. 16, 17).i° 
Thou shalt bring them in to Thy holy mountain. 
The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses : Moses ! 
Thou hast not said, " Bring us in ^ and plant us," 

1 Sisera's army. 

2 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

3 The first editions add here : " The earth spake before Him : 
Sovereign of the world ! Just as in the hour when only one person was 
slain 1 I was cursed for his sake, and if I receive all these hosts, how 
much more so will I be cursed ! '' MS. Gaster reads almost the same text. 

* See Lam. Rab. on Lam. i. g, and Shocher Tob, Ps. xxii. p. gob. 

* The first editions and MS. Gaster add here : " The ' right hand ' is 
only an oath, as it is said : ' The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, 
and by the arm of his strength ' (Isa. Ixii. 8) . Forthwith the earth opened 
her mouth and swallowed them." 

« The Amsterdam edition has misread the word " kings " and gives 
" angels." 

7 See T.B. Syiihedrin, 37b ; and of. Josh. 11. 9 and ix. 24. 

* The first editions read " sea." The reading in our MS., " the 
Jordan," is in agreement with the version of Onkelos on Ex. xv. 16. 
See Liturgy for New Year, Singer, p. 239. MS. Gaster adds: "until 
Israel has crossed the fords of Arnon." 

* In our MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

10 See Pal. Targum, in loc. 



1 And I received Abel's blood and body. 



336 RABBI ELIEZER 

but (thou hast said), " Thou shalt bring them in ^ and plant 
them.'' The One wlio brings in, He also brings out. By 
thy life ! According to thy words so shall it bc.2 In this 
world I shall ^ bring them ^ in, and in the world to come I 
will plant them as a true plant ^ which shall not be plucked 
up out of their land,'^ as it is said, " And I will plant them 
upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out 
of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy 
God " (Amos ix. 15) ; and it (also) says, " The Lord shall 
reign for ever and ever " (Ex. xv. 18).' 

^ In our iMS. the quotation ends here; it is continued in I he first 
editions. 

^ Ci. Dent. Rab. ii. y, and Num. Rab. xix. 13. 

* The first editions read : " thou shalt." MS. Gaster agnes with 
our MS. here. 

* This was promised to Moses, but by striking the rock at Massah 
this privilege was forfeited. Luria suggests a variant reading : " Thou 
hast not said, ' I will bring them in and I will plant them,' but, ' Thou 
wilt bring them in and plant them.' The one who brings them in is 
the one who brings them out ; so shall it be in this world, and in the 
future world thou wilt bring them in and I will plant them." 

^ See Jer. xxxii. 41. 

' From " as it is said " to the end of the quotation from Amos ix 15 
is missing in the MS., which reads " etc." The first editions read as far 
as " their land." 

'See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 182-184, for the parallel 
version from the Talmud. 



CHAPTER XLIII 

THE POWER OF REPENTANCE [60a. i] 

Repentance and good deeds ^ are a shield against punish- 
ment. Rabbi Ishmael ^ said : If repentance had not been 
created,^ the world would not stand. But since repentance 
has been created, the right hand of the Holy One, blessed be 
He, is stretched forth to receive the penitent * every day, and 
He says, Repent, ye children of men. " Repent, ye children 
of men " (Ps. xc. S).^ Know thou the power of repentance.^ 
Come and see from Ahab, king of Israel," for he had robbed, 
coveted,^ and murdered,^ as it is said, " Hast thou killed, 
and also taken possession ? " (1 Kings xxi. 19). He sent and 
called for Jehoshaphat, king of Judah,i" who gave him thrice 
daily forty stripes, and in fasting and with prayer he rose up 
early and retired late, before the Holy One, blessed be He,^^ 

1 See Aboth iv. 1 1 in the name of R. Eliezer ben Jacob, onn = dvpeos, 
shield. 

^ The first editions read : " Rabbi 'Akiba said : ' Repentance was 
created and the right hand,' " etc. 

^ See supra, Chapter III., p. lo. 

* See T.B. Pesachim, iiga ; Tanna de be EUjahu Zutta, xxii. p. .^7, 
xxiii. p. 40; and cf. Ezek. i. 8, with the interpretation in Pesachim, loc. 
cit. See Jalkut and Targum on Ps. xc. 3. 

* See supra, pp. 104 f. 

* The first editions read " charity and repentance " ; see next note. 
'See T.B. Synhedrin. 102b ; J.E. i. 281; and also Menorath Ha- 

Maor, !j 284. The word Zedakah (Charity) should be omitted. The 
first editions add : " who repented sincerely." See also Jalkut, i Kings 
xxi. § 222 ; and T.B. Ta'anith, 25b. 

* The first editions read " oppressed." 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 113a, according to which he introduced 
idolatry; and cf. T.B. Synhedrin, 48b. Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., 
reads: "he coveted and murdered" ; see Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. 
xxvi. p. 130, and Num. Rab. xiv. i. 

10 See Jalkut on i Kings xxi. loc. cit. ; Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. ; 
T.J. Sotah, iii. 4. iSd, which refers to three years of penitence. 

" The first editions add here : " and he studied the Torah all his 
days." 

22 



338 RABBI ELIEZER 

and he did not return any more to his evil deeds. His re- 
pentance Avas aeeepted, as it is said, || " Seest thou how Ahab 
humblcth himself ^ before me? Because he humbleth him- 
self before me, I will not bring the c\il in his days " {ibid. 29). 

Rabbi Abbahu said : Know thou the power of repentance. 
Come and sec from David, king of Israel.-' For the Holy 
One, blessed be He, had sworn to the forefathers that He 
would multiply their seed like the stars of the heavens. 
And David came to count their number. The Holy One, 
blessed be He, said to him : David ! I have sworn to 
the forefathers that I would multiply their seed as the stars 
of the heavens. And thou comest to annul My word. For 
thy sake the flock is given over to destruction ; ^ and in 
three hours there fell seventy thousand men,-* as it is said, 
" And there fell of Israel seventy thousand men " (1 Chron. 
xxi. 14). Rabbi Simeon said : Only Abishai, son of Zeruiah, 
fell amongst the Israelites, for he was equal in his good deeds 
and his knowledge of the Torah to the seventy thousand 
men,' as it is said, " And there fell of Israel seventy thousand 
men" {ibid,). "Men" is not written here, only "man."^ 
And David heard and rent his garments, and clothed himself 
in sackcloth and ashes, and he fell upon his face to the ground 
before the ark of the covenant of God.^ 

He sought (to do) penitence, and spake before the Holy 
One, blessed be He : Sovereign of all worlds ! It is I who 
have sinned ; forgive me, I beseech Thee, my sin. His re- 
pentance was accepted, and He said to the angel who had 
destroyed many {Rab) among the people : " Stay thine 
hand "8 {ibid. 15). What is the meaning of || "many" 
{Rab) ? He said to him : Rab (the teacher) has fallen in 
Israel." What did the angel do? He took his sword 

1 In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

- See Jalkut on 2 Samuel, § i()5, and Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. 

* See 2 Sam. xxiv. 17, and infra, p. 400. The Pe.sikta, pp. ibobff.. 
has used P.R.E. ■ • fi' 

« See T.B. Berakhoth, e2b. 

* See Midrash Samuel xxxi. (end) ; T.B. Berakhoth, loc. cit. ; Shocher 
Tob on Ps. xvii. p. ()4a ; and J.E. i. p. 66. 

« The MS. has " 70,000 men." and above this the letter 2, " as " 
or " like," has been added by a later writer. 

^ The first editions regard this sentence as a quotation and add : 
" as It IS said." The text is based on Josh. vii. 6. 

« The first editions read : " Now stay thine hands." 

» See 2 Sam. iii. 38 : " for a prince and a great man has fallen this 
day in Israel." 



THE POWER OF REPENTANCE 339 

and cleaned it with the garment^ of David. David saw 
the sword of the angel, ^ and he trembled in all his limbs 
until 3 his death * (as it is said,^) " But David could not go 
before it ^ to inquire of God ; for he was afraid because of 
the sword of the angel of the Lord " (ibid. 30). 

Rabbi Joshua said : Know thou the power of repentance. 
Come and see from Manasseh/ son of Hezekiah, who perpe- 
trated all the evil abominations much more than all the 
nations.^ He made his son to pass through the fire to Baal 
outside Jerusalem, causing (doves) to fly,^ and sacrificing to 
all the host of heaven. The princes of the troops of the king 
of Babylon camCj^" and they caught him by the hair of his 
head, and brought him down to Babylon, and they put him 

1 n-ha, garment, also " Tallith." 

^ The first editions add " of death." 
^ The first editions add " the day of." 

* See Tanna de be Ehjahu Rab. vii. p. 39, and Shocher Tob, Ps. 
xvii. p. 63b. 

* The MS. omits " as it is said " ; the first editions have the ex- 
pression. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

' See J.E. viii. 281 on the Prayer of Manasseh. The legend dealing 
with his punishment and repentance occurs in the Apocalypse of 
Baruch Ixiv. 8. Traces of this legend are to bf found in the Apostohc 
Constitutions, ii. 22 ; also in Anastasius on Ps. vi., quoted by Charles 
in his Note on Apoc. Baruch, p. 107, where the Targum of 2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 12 f. is given. See also T.B. Synhedrin, 103a. 

* The first editions add here : " of the world, and wrought much 
evil, and sacrificed to idols, ^ as it is said : ' He also made his children to 
pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom : (and he 
practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and 
dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards) : he wrought 
much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger ' (2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 6).- He went to Jerusalem dedicating doves ^ to all the host of 
heaven." MS. Caster has almost the same reading. 

^ See Mishnah Synhedrin, iii. 3. The dove-flying was an occasion for 
betting. 

^o See 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11, and Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. The first 
editions read : " The princes of the troops of Assyria came." 

^ Venice edition reads : " strange gods." The Targum, 2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 7, refers to Manasseh's image of himself, which he set up in 
the Temple. The Talmud (B. Synhedrin, 103b) holds that the image 
had originally one face, but ultimately it had four faces to provoke God. 
Apoc. Baruch, Ixiv. 3, says : " And he made an image with five faces ; 
four of them looked to the four winds, and the fifth on the summit of 
the image as an adversary of the zeal of the Mighty One," see also 
Assumption of Moses, ii. 8. 

2 See also 2 Kings xxi. 2 ff . 

' " He filled Jerusalem with the blood which he shed, and he sacri- 
ficed to all the host of heaven " is the reading suggested by Luria, 
based on 2 Kings xxiv. 4. 



340 RABBI ELIEZER 

in a pan (over) a fire,^ and there he called upon all the other 
gods 2 to whom he had sacrificed, and not one of them either 
answered him or saved him. He said : I will call on the 
God of my fathers with all my heart ; perhaps He will do 
unto me according to all His wonders which He did unto my 
father. And he called on the God of his fathers with all his 
heart, and He was entreated of him, and He heard his 
supplication, as it is said, " And he prayed unto him ; and 
he was intrcated of him,^ and heard his supplication . . . 
then Manassch knew that the Lord he was God " (2 Chron. 
xxxiii. 13). In that hour Manasseh said: There is both 
judgment as well as a judge. 

Ben 'A?;?ai ■* said : Know thou the power of repentance. 
Come and see from (the story of) Rabbi Simeon, son of 
Lakish. He with two 1| of his friends ■' in the mountains, were 
robbing ^ all who passed them on the way. What did he do ? 
He forsook his two companions who were plundering on the 
mountains, and he returned to the God of his fathers with 
all his heart. Fasting and praying he arose carh^ and retired 
late," before the Holy One, blessed be He, and he was study- 
ing the Torah all (the rest of) his days, and (giving) gifts 
to the needy. He did not return any more to his evil deeds, 
and his repentance was accepted. On the day when he died, 
his two companions, who were plundering on the mountains, 
also died. And they gave a portion in the treasury of the 
living ^ to Rabbi Simeon, son of Lakish, but his two com- 
panions (were put) in the lowest Sheol. 

1 Luria reads : " in copper fetters," according to the Targum 
on 2 Chron. xxxii. ii ; see Ruth Rab. v. 6, and the Note in 
Lightfoot's Hor. Heb. ( t Tal. in Acta Apost. xii. 7. See T.B. 
Synhedrin, loib ; Targum, 2 Chron., loc. cit. ; Deut. Rab. ii. 13. The 
reading nn'?iD3, the " hollow brazen horse," occurs in the Targum 
as well as in Apoc. Baruch ; sec 'Arukh, s.v. NnSic. Luria offers a 
variant reading : na-nn Kin ; see 'Arukh, s.v. ix'Ss — an iron barrel with 
apertures around which a fire was kindled. See also Agadath Bere- 
shith, ix. (end), and Bacher in R.I^ J. xlv. 291 ff. 

* Or " strange gods " ; the later editions read " idols." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. 

* The chronology is hopelessly at fault here. Ben 'Azzai was 
dead long before the time of Simeon ben Lakish. 

* See T.B. Gittin, 47a. and cf. /./f. xi. 354 f. 

* The first editions add : " and oppressing." 
' See Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. 

^ See the reading in the Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., which has used 
our book. Our text might be rendered : " They put Rabbi Simeon, 
son of Lakish, in the treasury of the living." 



THE POWER OF REPENTANCE 341 

The two companions spake before the Holy One, blessed 
be He : Sovereign of all the universe ! There is before Thee 
respect for certain persons. This one was plundering with 
us on the mountains, and he is in the treasury of the living, 
whilst the other men are ^ in the lowest Sheol. He said to 
them : This one repented in his lifetime, but ye have not 
repented. They said to Him : Give us the opportunity, and 
we will repent very sincerely. He said to them : Repent- 
ance is only possible imtil one's death. ^ 

A parable — To what is the matter comparable ? To a man 
who wished to take a voj^age at sea. If he did not take 
with him bread and water from an inhabited land, he will 
not find anything to eat or to drink on the sea. Again, [| if a 
man wish to go to the end of the wilderness, unless he take 
from some inhabited place bread and water, he will not find 
anything to eat or to drink in the wilderness. Likewise, if a 
man did not repent in his lifetime, after his death he cannot 
repent.^ But (God) gives to a man according to his ways, 
as it is said, " I ^ the Lord search the heart,^ I try the reins, 
even to give every man according to his ways, according to 
the fruit of his doings " (Jer. xvii. 10). 

Rabbi Nechunia, son of Hakkanah, said : Know thou 
the power of repentance. Come and see from Pharaoh, king 
of Egypt, who rebelled most grievously against the Rock, 
the Most High,*' as it is said, " Who is the Lord, that I 
should hearken unto his voice ? " (Ex. v. 2).'^ In the same 
terms of speech in which he sinned, he repented, as it is said 

1 The first editions read : " whilst we are." 

^ See Midrash on Prov. vi. (ed. Buber, p. 28a), and cf. Ecclcs. ix. 10 
with Midrash thereon. 

^ The first editions add : "as it is said, ' He will not regard any 
ransom ; 1 neither will he rest content, though thou givest many 
gifts '"2 (Prov. vi. 35). 

* Our MS. reads : " For I the Lord." This does not agree with 
M.T. 

® In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions as far as " reins." 

* Luria suggests another reading : " the Rock of Eternity." The 
Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., reads : " Sovereign of Eternity." 

' See the preceding chapter of our book, p. 331. 



^ The quotation ends here in the first editions. 

^ See Midrash on this verse. Luria reads : " But He will give to 
a man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds, 
as it is said, ' He will not regard,' " etc. A parallel reading is given 
by Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. 



342 RABIU ET.IEZER 

" WIio is like thee, O Lord, amonof the mif^hty ? " {ibid. xv. 11). 
The Holy One, blessed be lie, dehvered him from amongst 
the dead. Whenee (do we know) that he died ? ^ Because 
it is said, " For now I had j)ut forth my hand.- and smitten 
thee" {ibid. ix. 15).^ He went and ruled in Nineveh. The 
men of Nineveh were writing fraudulent deeds, and everyone 
robbed his neighbour, and they committed sodomj^'* and 
such-like wicked actions. When the Holy One, blessed be 
He, sent for Jonah, to prophesy against (the city) its de- 
struction, Pharaoh hearkened and arose from his throne, 
rent his garments and clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, 
and had a proclamation made to all his people, that all the 
people should fast for two^ days, || and all who did these 
(wicked) things ^ should be burnt by fire. What did they ^ 
do ? The men were '^ on one side, and the women on the 
other, and their children were by themselves ; all the clean 
animals were on one side,^ and their offspring were by them- 
selves. The infants saw the breasts of their mothers, 

1 In the Reed Sea. The first editions read : " that he did not die." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 

* The 1st ed. and Gaster MS. read here : " But in very deed, for this 
cause have I made thee to stand" (Ex. ix. lO). The 2nd ed. adds: 
" And the Holy One, blessed be He, raised him up from amongst the 
dead ^ to declare the might of His power.* Whence (do we know) 
that He raised him up ? Because it is said : ' But in very deed for 
this cause have I made thee to stand, for to shew thee my power, 
and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth ' " 
(Ex. ix. i6).3 

* Cf. Pesikta, p. i6ia, and Jalkut Jonah, § 550. 

* The first editions read : " three days." 

* The first editions read : " All who did not do these things." 
' The first editions read : " he." 

^ The first editions read : " He made the men stand on one 
side." 

* The first editions add : " and all the unclean animals were on 
the other side." Luria thinks that " male animals " and " female 
animals " would be a more appropriate reading. See the reading 
in the Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cii. Jalkut Jonah, loc. cit., omits it. 

* We have here a conflate text arising from two different versions 
of the legend. In Jalkut on Jonah (§ 350) we have one reading : " And 
He delivered him from death to declare the power of His might, as 
it is said : ' But in very deed for this cause have I made thee to stand 
(Ex. ix. 16). The other reading is preserved in the Menorath Ha-Maor, 
loc. cit. See nlso the rest of the verse (Ex. ix. 16) in Pal. Targum, 
which refers to Pharaoh, who is to recount the Divine praise. 

^ The Amsterdam edition reads : " His might and His power." 
'See Mekhilta, Beshallach vi. p. 33a, and Shocher Tob on Ps. cvi. 

p. 22Sa. The Rabbis differ as to whether Pharaoh escaped ; see Eccles. 

Rab. to Eccles. x. 5, and Pal. Targum on Ex. xiv. 27. 



THE POWER OF REPENTANCE 343 

(and they wished^) to have suck,^ and they wept. The 
mothers saw their ehildren, (and they wished ^) to give them 
suek. By the merit of 4123 ehildren more than twelve 
hundred thousand men (were saved), as it is said, " And 
should not I have pity on Nineveh,^ that great city ; wherein 
are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern 
between their right hand and their left hand ; and also much 
cattle?" (Jonah iv. 11); "And the Lord^ repented of the 
evil,^ which he said he would do unto them " '^ {ibid. iii. 10). 
For forty years was the Holy One, blessed be He, slow to anger 
wnth them, corresponding to the forty days during which He 
had sent Jonah.' After forty years they returned to their 
many evil deeds, more so than their former ones, and they 
were swallowed up like the dead, in the lowest Sheol, as it is 
said, " Out of the city of the dead ^ they groan " (Job xxiv. 
12). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, sent by the hand of His 
servants, the prophets, to Israel ^ (saying), " O Israel, return 
unto the Lord thy God " (Hos. xiv. l).i" (Even) unto Him 
whose voice ye heard at Mount Sinai, saying, "I, the Lord, 
am to be thy God" (Ex. xx. 2). 

" For thou hast fallen by thine iniquity " (Hos. xiv. 1). 

^ The words in brackets, which are missing in our MS., occur in 
the first editions. 

2 TheMenorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., reads : " To have suck and they did 
not permit it, and they wept, and the mothers saw their offspring and 
they wished to give them suck, and they were unable and they wept." 
See T.B. Taanith, i6a, and T.J. Taanith ii. i. 65b. 

3 The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions it con- 
cludes with the word " city." The preceding part of the sentence 
reads in the first editions: "By (their) merit there were more than 
twelve hundred thousand men." 

* The MS. and the first editions read " the Lord " ; M.T. has " God." 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. ; in the first editions it con- 
cludes with the word " said." 

* See the reading in the Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit. 

' Menorath Ha-Maor, loc. cit., reads : " when He spake to Jonah." 

* R.V. has "populous," but in margin, "city of men." Nineveh 
was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar ; .see T.B. Megillah, lib. 

9 The first editions read : " to prophesy against Israel and He 
said." 

10 The use of these verses from Hosea seems to suggest that this 
entire chapter on Repentance was originally a homily for the Sabbath 
of Repentance, i.e. the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. This 
suggestion seems to be reasonable, because the reference to Jonah 
would be appropriate on the Sabbath before it was read. The Book 
of Jonah is the Haphtarah at Minchah on the Day of Atonement ; see 
supra. Chapter X. 



344 RABVA EI.IEZER 

" And thy wealth " ^ is not written here, but " For thou hast 
fallen by thine iniquity." It is not written here, " Take 
with you silver and gold," || but " Take with you words " 
{ibid. 2). It is not written here, " And we will render silver 
and gold," but " And we will render as bullocks (the offering 
of) our lips" {ibid.).~ 

Rabbi Jehudah said : If Israel will not repent they will 
not be redeemed.'' Israel only repents because of distress,'' 
and because of oppression, and owing to exile, and because 
they have no sustenance. Israel does not repent quite 
sincerely'^ until Elijah*' comes, as it is said, "Behold, I will 
send you " Elijah, the prophet,** before the great and terrible 
day of the Lord come. And he shall turn the heart of the 
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to 
their fathers " (Mai. iv. 5, 6). 

Blessed art thou, O Lord, who delightest in repentance.^ 

' The first editions read : " By thy glory and thy wealth." 

* See Menorath Ha-Maor, § 279 ; Tanna de be Elijahu Zutta ix. p. i So ; 
T.B. Synhedrin, 96b; and cf. 4 Ivzra iv. ^q. 

^ See T.B. Synhedrin, 93a, and T.J. Ta'anith, loc. cit. 

* See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxi. p. 116; and Tanna de be Ehjahu 
Zutta iv. p. I So, and xiv. p. 196. See also Assumption of Moses, i. iS. 

^ Lit. " Does not do a great repentance." 

' The first editions add : " Of blessed memory," or, " May his memory 
be a blessing " ; see supra, p. 2. note 7. Cl. Luke i. 16 f. 

' In the MS. the words from " Elijah " to " come " are omitted. 
In the first editions the entire verse is given. 

*' See Seder 'Olam Rab. xvii. p. 35a, b. 

* See Singer, p. 46. This is the fifth benediction of the Shemoneh 
'Esreh. Does o\ir Midrash wish to associate Elijah with this ])cne- 
dictioa? 



CHAPTER XLIV 

AMALEK AND ISRAEL [61 B. i.] 

Rabbi Jochanan, son of Niiri, said : (After) ^ all the mighty 
deeds and wonders which the Holy One, blessed be He, 
did unto Israel in Egypt, and at the Reed Sea, they re- 
peatedly tempted the Omnipresent ^ ten times, ^ as it is 
said, " Yet have they tempted me these ten times " 
(Num. xiv. 22). Moreover, they slandered the Holy 
One, blessed be He, saying : He '^ has forsaken us in this 
wilderness, and His Shekhinah is not in our midst, as 
it is said, " Is the Lord among us,^ or not ? " (Eit. 
xvii. 7).^ 

Rabbi Joshua," son of Korchah, said : After this sec- 
tion what is written ? " Then came Amalek " {ibid. 8). 
Amalek came against them to punish them. He who 
comes from || a journey should be met on the way with food 
and drink. (Amalek) saw them faint and weary, owing 
to the Egyptian bondage and the affliction of the journey, 
and he did not take to heart ^ the precept of " Honour," ^ 

^ " After " is wanting in our MS. ; it occurs in the first editions. 
^ The first editions read : " The Holy One, blessed be He." 

* Read iv, instead of niy. See Aboth, v. 4, and Aboth de R. 
Nathan {b) xxxiv. p. 49b. 

* The first editions read : " The Lord." 
^ In the MS. the quotation ends here. 

^ See Ps. Ixxviii. 22 ; and of. infra, pp. 436 f. 

' The MS. reads incorrectly : " Ishmael, son of Korcha." MS. Gaster 
roads: "Simeon." 

* To have pity on them, or to fear God, so as not to afflict them. 
See Tanna de be Elijahu Rab. xxiv. p. 126 : " Eliphaz the father of 
Amalek advised his son to go and dig wells for Israel, but he met them 
with the sword." 

' The fifth commandment is probably referred to here ; see previous 
note, 8. The MS. alone reads : " the precept of ' Honour.' " The 
Book of Jubilees offers a parallel to this idea in the disobedience of the 
children of Esau, who forced him against his will to attack Jacob ; see 
Jubilees xxxvii. i ff. 

345 



346 RABBI ELIEZER 

but he stood by the way like a she-bear, bereaved by man ^ 
(and eager) to slay mother and ehiidrcn,- as it is said, 
" How he met thee by the waj^ " (Dent. xxv. 18). 

Rabbi Azariah ^ said : Amalek was a descendant * of 
Esau, and because of his ancestor's ^ enmity he came against 
them to punish them. The cloud ^ was surrounding " the 
camp of Israel like a city surrounded by a wall.^ The 
adversary and enemy ^ were unable to touch them, but 
(when) anyone needed a ritual bath ^° the cloud excluded 
him from the camp of Israel, because the camp of Israel 
was holy, as it is said, " Therefore shall thy camp be 
holy " {ibid, xxiii. 14), and (then) Amalek was smiting 
and slaying ^^ the hindmost of those who were beyond the 
cloud, ^"^ as it is said, " And he smote the hindmost of thee,^^ 
all that were feeble behind thee " {ibid, xxv. 18). 

Moses said to Joshua : Choose men for us, houses ^* of 
the fathers,^^ men who are mighty in strength and valour,i^ 
and go forth and do battle with Amalek. Moses, Aaron, 
and Hur stood on a high place,^" in the camp^** of Israel, one 
on his right hand, and one on his left. Hence thou mayest 
learn that the precentor ^^ is prohibited to officiate unless 

^ " By man " occurs in the MS only. 

^ See supra, p. 281 ; cf. i Sam. xv. 33. 

^ The first editions and MS. Gaster read : " Zechariah." 

* Lit. " grandson." 

^ Lit. " grandfather's." See Pal. Targ. Ex. xvii. S, and Targum on 
Cant. ii. 15. 

« The first editions read : " The Pillar of Cloud." 

' Cf. Deut. xxxii. 10 and Pal. Targum, Deut. xxv. r8. See also Mek- 
hilta, p. T3a: " The clouds surrounded the Israelites on all four sides." 

« Cf. Zech. ii. 5. 

® Cf. Lam. iv. 12 for phraseology. 

10 Cf. T.B. Pesachim, 68a ; T.B. Gittin, 6oa ; Num. Rab. vii. i ; and 
see J.E. viii. 58S on the " Ritual Bath." 

" The MS. reads : " veholekh," "and going " ; the first editions read : 
" vehoreg," " and slaying." The latter seems to be the more correct 
reading. 

»2 For another interpretation, see Tanchuma, Ki Tez6, § ix., and 
Pesikta, p. 27b. See infra, p. 380. 

1' In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^* The first editions read : " sons." 

15 See T.B. Kiddushin, 76b. 

1* The first editions add: "who fear Heaven." See Mekhilta, 
p. 53b: "Amalek did not fear Heaven." Cf. Ex. Rab. xxvi. 3. 
1' See Nachmanides on Ex. xvii. 9. 

1* The first editions read : " in the midst of the camp." 
'•The MS. has an abl)re\iation : " Sheshaz " ; lit. "that the 
Messenger of the Congregation." The ist ed. agrees. 



AMALEK AND ISRAEL 347 

there are two (men) standing with him,i || one on his right 
hand and one on his left. 

All the Israelites (were standing ^) outside (their tents ^) ; 
they had gone forth from their tents, and saw Moses kneeling 
on his knees, and they were kneeling on their knees. ^ He 
fell on his face to the ground, and they fell on their faces 
to the ground. He spread out the palms of his hands 
towards the heavens, and they spread out their hands to 
heaven.-^ Just as ^ the precentor officiates, in like manner 
all the people answer " after him. 

The Holy One, blessed be He, caused Amalek and his 
people to fall into the hand of Joshua,^ as it is said, " And 
Joshua discomfited ^ Amalek and his people with the edge 
of the sword " (Ex. xvii. 13).i» 

Rabbi Shela said : The Holy One, blessed be He, wished 
to destroy, to cut off all the seed of Amalek. What did 
the Holy One, blessed be He, do ? He put forth His right 
hand and took hold of the throne of His glory^ and swore 
that He would destroy and cut off all the seed of Amalek,^^ 
as it is said, " And he said, Because there is a hand against 
the throne^ of the Lord, the Lord will wage war against 
Amalek " {ibid. 16). 

Rabbi Phineas said : (After ^^) forty years Moses wished 
to say to Israel : Do ye remember that which ye said in 
the wilderness — " Is the Lord among us,^^ or not ? " 

1 See Mekhilta, p. 54b, Pesikta, p. 22a, and Tanchuma Beshallach, 
§ xxviii. Was the custom mentioned in our book applicable only to 
public prayer on Fast Days (for rain or when war arose) ? See Tur, 
Orach Chayyim, 566; and Beth Joseph, 566. 7. 

^ The MS. omits " were standing." The first editions have this 
reading-. 

3 This is missing in the MS., but occurs in the first editions ; the next 
words up to " tents " are found in the MS. only. 

« Cf. Jalkut, Ex. § 264. 

^ The first editions read: "to their Father who is in Heaven." 
See T.B. Rosh Ha-Shanah, 29a. 

' The first editions read : " Hence thou mayest learn." 

'The first editions add: "Amen." See Jalkut (loc. cit.), which 
omits " Amen " ; see also T.B. Berakhoth, 49b. 

* The first editions read : " to fall by the edge of the sword." 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the 
1st ed. 

1" See Targum on Cant. ii. 16, and cf. Pal. Targum on Num. xxi. i. 
" The first editions add : " from this world and from the world to 
come." 

1- The MS. omits : " after " ; it occurs in the first editions. 
*3 The MS. omits : " or not " ; it occurs in the first editions. 



348 RABBI ELIEZER 

{ibid. 7).i But Moses said : If I speak ^ thus to Israel, 
behold I will put them to shame, and whosoever puts (his 
fellow) to shame will have no portion in the world to 
come.^ 

A parable — To what is the matter to be compared ? 
To a king * who had |1 a garden and a dog chained at the 
entrance to the garden. The king was sitting in his upper 
room, watching and looking at all that (transpired) in the 
garden. The friend of the king entered to steal (fruit) 
from the garden, and he incited the dog against him, and 
it tore his garments. The king said : If I say to my friend, 
j Why didst thou enter my garden ? behold I will put him 
"~to shame ; therefore, behold, I will say to him : Didst 
thou see that mad dog, how it tore thy clothes ? ^ And 
he will understand what he has done. Likewise spake 
Moses : Behold, I mil tell Israel the story of Amalek, 
and they will understand what is written before it; there- 
fore Moses said : " Remember what Amalek did unto 
thee "^ by the way, as ye came forth out of Egypt " 
(Deut. XXV. 17). 

The Israelites said to our teacher Moses : Moses ! One 
Scripture text says, " Remember the Sabbath day, to 
keep it holy " (Ex. xx. 8) ; and it is written, " Remember 
what Amalek did unto thee " (Deut. xxv. 17). How 
can these two texts be fulfilled ? •" He said to them : 
The cup of spiced wine ^ is not to be compared to the cup 

» See T.B. 'Abodah Zarah, 5b. 

2 The MS. adds : " not " ; this is probably an error ; it does not occur 
in the first editions. 

' See Aboth iii. 12 ; T.B. Megillali, 25b, and Pal. Targum on Deut. vi. 
16. The first editions add : " But I will tell them the story of Amalek, 
and they will understand > wliat is written (immediately) preceding 
this story. 

* The legend is also given by Tanchuma, Ki Teze, § ix., translated 
in Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 190 f. 

* The first editions add : " not knowing that thou art my friend." 

^ In the MS. the quotation ends here ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^Or: "established." See Tanchuma, Ki Teze, loc. rit. The first 
editions add : " this ' Remember ' and that ' Remember.' " 

* " pcnjip " (condiium, kovSitoi') ; cf. Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, 
p. lOI. 

^ See T.B. Baba Mezi'a, 5Sb ; T.B. Pe^achim, 33b; and Tanchuma, 
Jethro. § iii. This Midrashic piece is translated in Rabbinic Philosophy 
and Ethics, pp. 188 f. 



AMALEK AND ISRAEL 349 

of vinegar.! This " Remember " is in order to observe and 
to sanctify the Sabbath day,^ and the other " Remember " 
is in order to destroy and to cut off all the seed of Amalek, 
as it is said, " Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy 
God hath ffiven thee rest ^ from all thine enemies . . . 
thou shalt not forget " {ibid. lO).* || Israel forgot to destroy 
and to cut off all the seed of Amalek, but the Holy One, 
blessed be He, did not forget.^ When Saul reigned, Samuel 
said to him : " Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I have marked 
that which Amalek did to Israel. . . . Now go and smite 
Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have" (1 Sam. xv. 
2, 3). What is the meaning of " all that they have " ? 
Even all the living male creatures.^ " Spare them not, but 
slay " (ibid.). Saul took the men of war, and he went 
out to meet Amalek. When Saul came to the crossing 
of the ways, he stood still, and thought in his heart,''' as 
it is said, " And Saul came to the city of Amalek,^ and 
argued ^ in the valley " {ibid, 5). Saul said : If the men 
have sinned, what i" have the beasts done amiss ? A 
Bath Kol !! came forth, saying to him : Saul ! Be not 

1 The MS. reads " sumin," the first editions have " chomez," and 
then add : " this is a ' cup,' and that is a ' cup.' " The precept to " re- 
member " the Sabbath is explained by the Rabbis to refer to the 
Kiddush, or sanctification of the Sabbath over the cup of wine ; see 
Singer, p. 124. 

2 See supra, p. 138. 

2 In the MS. the quotation ends here. The first editions read : 
" ' Remember what Amalek did unto thee' (Deut. xxv. 17), and when 
thou comest to the land ' thou shalt not forget ' " {ibid. 19). 

* See T.B. Synhedrin, 20b. Amalek was to be punished, and this 
Divine decree was not to be forgotten when Israel had their own land 
and king. This duty of executing Divine justice devolved upon Saul 
as the first king of the Israelites. 

* See Tanchuma, Ki Teze, loc. cit. ; Pesikta (Zachor), p. 26a, and 
Lam. Rab. v. i. 

® On Tp3 jTiBiD see Lexica. 

' See T.B. Joma, 22b; Midrash Samuel (ed. Bubcr), xviii. p. 50a. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; in the first editions the verse 
is continued. 

* 3T1 might be interpreted in the sense of meditating. See R. V. 

10 The first editions add here : " Have the women done amiss ? If 
the women have sinned, what have the children done amiss ? 1 If the 
children have sinned." 

11 The text in i Samuel xv. 19 says : " Why hast thou not 
hearkened unto the voice of the Lord ? " The Bath Kol was a 
Heavenly voice ; see supra, p. 225. 



1 They and their children failed to bring bread and water to the 
Israelites. 



350 RABBI ELIEZER 

more righteous than thy Creator,^ as it is said, " Be not 
righteous overniueli " (Eceles. vii. 16). 

Rabbi said : When Saul came to the camp of Amalek 
he saw the children of Israel tarrying ^ in the midst of 
Amalek.^ He said to them : Separate yourselves from 
the midst of Amalek, as it is said, " And Saul said unto 
the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down ^ from among the 
Amalckites, lest I destroy you with them " (1 Sam. xv. 6). 
Did Jethro show loving-kindness to all Israel ? But did he 
not show loving-kindness to Moses our teacher alone ? 
Hence thou mayest learn || that whosoever shows loving- 
kindness unto one of the great men of Israel is considered 
as though he had shown loving-kindness unto Israel.^ 
Because of the loving - kindness which he showed, his 
children were saved from among the Amalekites.^ 

Rabbi Jose said : When Sennacherib came to the land 
(of Israel), all the nations who were in the regions round 
about the land of Israel saw the camp of Sennacherib, 
and feared greatly, and every man fled from his place, as 
it is said, " I have removed the bounds of the peoples,* 
and have robbed their treasures " (Isa. x. 13). They went 
into the wilderness, and intermixed with the children of 
Ishmael," and all of them were (composed of) ten peoples, 
as it is said, " The tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites ; ^ 
Moab, and the Hagarenes ; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek ; 
Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre ; Assyria also is 
joined with them " (Ps. Ixxxiii. 6, 7, 8).^ All of them are 
destined to fall by the hand of the Son of David, as it is 
said, " O my God, make them like the whirling dust " 

* Cf . 4 Ezra viii. 47; T.B. Joma, loc. cit.; and Ecclcs. Rab. to 
Eceles. vii. 16. 

2 The first editions read ; " Jethro mixed up in the midst " ; this 
reading is probably the correct text. 

^ Tlae Kenites dwelt among the Amalekites. 

* In the MS. the quotation ends here ; in the first editions it is 
continued. 

* See T.B. Berakhoth, 63b ; Midrash Samuel, loc. cit., and Cant. 
Rab. on Cant. ii. 3. 

^ The first editions add here : " as it is said, ' So the Kenites de- 
parted from among the Amalckites' " (i Sam. xv. 6). 

' The Ishmaelites dwelt hard by the Amalekites ; see supra, 
p. 220. 

* In the IMS. the rest of the verses up to the word Assyria are 
omitted ; as usual, " etc." replaces the part left out. 

» See T.B. Sukkah, 52b. 



AMALEK AND ISRAEL 351 

{ibid. 13). 1 " As the fire that burneth the forest,^ and 
as the flame that setteth the mountains on fire " {ibid. 
14). " So pursue them with thy tempest,^ and terrify 
them with thy storm " {ibid. 15). 

1 This Messianic passage is omitted in the modern editions owing to 
the fear of the censor. The ten nations mentioned in the Psalm are, of 
course, only memories of the past. The MS. adds " etc." at the 
end of its quotation ; the verse continues : "As stubble before the 
wind." 

2 Thus far the MS. quotes this verse. 



CHAPTER XLV 

THE GOLDEN CALF [62B. ii.] 

Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai said : When the Holy One, 
blessed be He, was revealed to Moses out of the thorn-bush, 
in order to send him to Egypt, Moses spake before the Holy 
One, blessed be He (saying) : Sovereign of all the worlds ! ^ 
Swear to me that all things whieh I desire to do,^ Thou ^vilt 
do, so that I should not speak words before Pharaoh, and 
Thou wilt not fulfil them, for then Avill he slay me. And 
He swore unto him that " whatsoever thou || desirest to do, I 
will do, except with reference to two things," (namely,) to 
let him enter the land (of Canaan),^ and (to postpone) the 
day of (his) death. Whence do we know that He swore 
unto him ? Because it is said, " By myself have I sworn, 
saith the Lord, the word is gone forth from my mouth in 
righteousness " (Isa. xlv. 23)."* When Israel received the 
commandments they forgot their God ^ after forty days, 
and they said to Aaron : The Egyptians were carrying 
their god, and they were singing and uttering hymns ^ 
before it, and they saw it before them. Make unto us a 
god like the gods of the Egyptians, and let us see it before 
us, as it is said, " Up, make us a god " (Ex. xxxii. 1). 

They betook themselves to the one who carried out 

1 This is also the reading of the Prague edition. The Venice edition 
omits "all." 

- Just as God agreed to comply with the request of Moses in 
Ex. viii. IS and xxxiii. 17, and Num. xvi. 31. 

^ Cf. Deut. iv. 21. 

* The quotation from Genesis (xxii. 16) given in the printed texts 
is hardly applicable lo Moses. The quotation as in our text does not 
quite agree with M.'l ., which omits "saith the Lord." 

^ Cf. Ps. cvi. 21. 

* Sec supra, p. 333; Pal. Targum on Ex. xxxii. 5; T.J. Sotah 
iii. 4. lya ; and see also Num. Kab. ix. .jy. 

352 



THE GOLDEN CALF 353 

the words of Moses,i (to) Aaron his brother, and Hur, the 
son of his sister. Whence (do we know) that Hur was the 
son of (Moses') sister ? Because it is said, " And Caleb 
took unto him Ephrath,^ which bare him Hur " (1 Chron. 
ii. 19). Why was Miriam's name called EjDhrath ? ^ Because 
she was a daughter of the palace,^ a daughter of kings, one 
of the magnates of the generation ; for every prince and 
great man who arose in Israel had his name called an 
Ephrathite, as it is said, " And Jeroboam, the son of 
Nebat, an Ephrathite " ^ (i Kings xi. 26) ; and it says, 
" And David was the son of that Ephrathite " (1 Sam. 
xvii. 12). Was he then an Ephrathite? Was he not of 
the tribe of Judah? But he was a nobleman,* a son of 
kings, one of the magnates of the generation. But since 
Hur was of the tribe of Judah, and one of the magnates of 
the generation, he began to reprove Israel with harsh words,^ 
and the plunderers ^ who were in Israel arose against him, and 
slew him. 

Aaron arose || and saw that Hur, the son of his sister, was 
slain ; and he built for them an altar, as it is said, " And 
when Aaron saw this,^ he built an altar before it" (Ex. 
xxxii. 5). 

Aaron argued with himself, saying : If I say to Israel, 
Give ye to me gold and silver, they will bring it immediately ; 

1 The Venice text reads : " to the companions of Moses." 
^ The quotation ends here in the MS. ; it is continued in the first 
editions. 

^ See T.B. Sotah, lib ; and Ex. Rab. i. 17. 

* 'rahs {palatinus ; iraXar'ii'os , TraXaTivt]) , a palatina, a daughter of a 
nobleman. See Midrash Agadah, Ex. p. 122. 

* R. V. has : " Ephraimite." Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim ; 
he was not an inhabitant of the city of Ephrath, but of Zeredah. See 
r Kings xi. 26. 

* See Num. Rab. xv. 7 ; Ex. Rab. xli. 7, xlviii. 4 ; and Lev. 
Rab. X. 3, 

^ The first editions read : " despised ones." See Tanchuma Tezavveh, 
§ X. Whilst Moses ascended Mount Sinai, Aaron and Hur were left in 
charge of the Israelites ; and when Moses descended the Mount he refers 
to Aaron only. Hence the inference that Hur was dead. See Rabbinic 
Philosophy and Ethics, pp. 205 f. ; parallels to Rabbinic literature are 
given there, p. 206, note i. 

* MS. omits this first part of the quotation. The first editions read : 
" And Aaron saw (what had happened) to Hur, for he was slain ; and 
he built an altar, as it is said, ' And Aaron saw ' (Ex. xxxii. 5). 
What did he see ? (He saw) that Hur, the son of his sister, had 
been slain, and he built an altar, as it is said, ' And he built an 
altar ' " {ibid.). See Rashi, in loc, and Midrash Agadah, Ex. p. 181. 

23 



354 RABEI ELIEZER 

but behold I will say to them, Give ye to me the earrings of 

your wives, and of your sons,^ and forthwith the matter will 

fail,2 as it is said, " And Aaron said to them. Break off 

the golden rings " {ibid. 2). The women heard (this), but 

they were unwilling ^ to give their earrings to their husbands ; 

but they said to them : Ye desire to * make a graven image 

and a molten image without any power in it to deliver. 

The Holy One, blessed be He, gave the women their reward 

in this world and in the world to come. What reward did 

He give them in this world ? That they should observe 

the New Moons ^ more stringently than the men, and what 

reward will He give them in the world to come ? They 

are destined to be renewed like the New Moons, as it is said, 

" Who satisfieth thy years with good things ; ^ so that thy 

youth is renewed like the eagle" (Ps. ciii. 5). 

The men saw that the women would not consent to give 

their earrings to their husbands. What did they do ? 

Until that hour the earrings were (also) in their own ears, 

after the fashion of the Egyptians, and after the fashion 

of the Arabs.-" They broke off their earrings which were 

in their own ears, and they gave (them) to Aaron, as it is 

said, " And all the people brake off || the golden rings which 

were in their ears " (Ex. xxxii. 3). " Which were in the 

ears of their wives " is not written here, but " which were in 

their ears." Aaron found among the earrings one plate of 

gold upon which the Holy Name was written, and engraven 

thereon was the figure of a calf, and that (plate) alone did 

he cast into the fiery furnace,^ as it is said, " So they gave 

it me : ^ and I cast it into the fire, and there came out this 

calf " {ibid. 24). It is not written here, " And I cast them 

in," but "And I cast it in the fire, and there came out this 

1 The first editions add : " and of your daughters." 

^ See Tanchuma, Ki Thissa, § xix., and Zohar. Ex. 192a. 

^ The first editions add : " and they did not consent." 

* The " addition " (Tosaplioth) to Rashi on T.B. Megillah, 22b, reads 
as in our MS., but the first editions read : " To make an idol, and an 
abomination without power in it to dehver — we will not listen to you." 

* This custom is referred to in T.J. Pesachim iv. i. jod ; T.J. Ta'anith 
i. 6. 64c ; see " addition " (Tosaphoth) to Rashi on T.B. Megillah, loc. 
cit. ; Jarchi's Manhig, 43, and Rokeach, 228, and of. injra, p. 410. 

* The quotation ends here in the MS. and in the first editions. 

' See Judg. viii. 24, which speaks of the earrings of the Ishmaelites. 

* See Pal. Targum on Ex. xxxii. 24. 

» This first part of the verse is given by the first editions, the MS. 
omits the quotation here, although " as it is said " is given. 



THE GOLDEN CALF 355 

calf." The calf came out lowing, and the Israelites saw 
it,i and they went astray after it. 

Rabbi Jehudah said : Sammael ^ entered into it, and he 
was lowing to mislead Israel, as it is said, " The ox knoweth 
his owner " ^ (Isa. i. 3). 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses : Israel 
has forgotten the might of My power, which I wrought for 
them in Egypt and at the Reed Sea,^ and they have made 
an idol for themselves. He said to Moses : ^ Go, get thee 
down from thy greatness.^ Moses spake before the Holy 
One, blessed be He : Sovereign of all the worlds ! Whilst 
Israel had not yet sinned before Thee, Thou didst call them 
" My people," as it is said, " And I will bring forth my 
hosts, my people " (Ex. vii. 4). Now that they have 
sinned before Thee, Thou sayest unto me, " Go, get thee 
down, for thy people have corrupted themselves " {ibid. 
xxxii, 7). They are Thy people, and Thine inheritance, as 
it is said, " Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance " 
(Deut. ix. 29). 

Moses took || the tables (of the law)," and he descended, 
and the tables carried their own weight^ and Moses with 
them ; but when they beheld the calf and the dances,^ the 
writing fled from off the tables,^" and they became heavy 
in his hands, ^^ and Moses was not able to carry himself and 

^ " And they went astray after it " is omitted by the first editions, 
but it is preserved by R. Bechai in his comm. on Ex. in loc. 

^ The later editions read : " Satan." See Introduction, p. li. 

^ The owner is Satan according to the Midrash ; see T.B. Berakhoth, 
32a, and cf. Ps. cvi. 19, 20. The first editions add here : "All Israel 
saw it, and kissed it, and bowed down to it, and sacrificed to it." 

* See Ps. cvi. 22. 

^ The first editions and MS. Gaster read: "as it is said, 'Go, get 
thee down : for thy people have corrupted themselves' (Ex. xxxii. 7). 
He spake to Moses : ' Go, get thee down, for thy people have corrupted 
themselves.' " ^ 

* See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 207. 

' See T.J. Taanith iv. 4. 68b, and Ex. Rab. xxviii. i. Moses took 
them against the will of the heavenly host. 

^ See Rabbinic Philosophy and Ethics, p. 212; cf. T.B. Sotah, 35a, 
with reference to the ark of the Covenant and its transportation. MS. 
Gaster reads : "When Moses came to the camp and saw the calf." 

® The first editions read : " the cymbals, the dances, and the calf." 

10 Cf. Aboth de R. Nathan {a) xh. p. 67a; T.B. Pesachim, 87b; 
Lekach Tob, Ex. p. 102a, and see Pal. Targum on Ex. xxxii. 19. The 
first editions read : " fled and flew away from off the tables." 
" See T.B. Nedarim, 38a, and Deut. Rab. iii. 12. 



* With idolatry, see Ibn Ezra, in loc. 



356 RABBI ELIEZER 

the tables, and he cast them from his hand,^ and they were 
broken beneath the mount, as it is said, " And Moses' anger 
waxed hot,^ and he cast the tables out of his hands, and 
brake them beneath the mount "^ (Ex. xxxii. 19). 

Moses said to Aaron : What hast thou done to this people ? 
Thou hast made them unruly, like a woman who is unchecked^ 
owing to immorality. He said to Moses : I saw what they 
did to Hur, and I feared very greatly. 

Rabbi said : All the princes were not associated in the 
affair of the calf, as it is said, " And upon the nobles ^ of 
the children of Israel^ he laid not his hand " {ibid. xxiv. 11). 
The word ("Azile") means the "princes," therefore they 
were accounted worthy to gaze upon the glory " of the 
Shekhinah, as it is said, " x\nd they saw the God o